We are often contacted by people asking whether they can pursue a compensation claim after a slip and fall in a shop. Such accidents are common on smooth, highly polished floor surfaces such as those found in shops and supermarkets, which become even more slippery after cleaning, spillages and wet weather.
Slipping accidents can seem innocuous, but often the injuries can be serious. Claiming compensation can help you to recover your health and financial losses, including lost earnings.
Whether you can claim will largely depend on if the shop could and should have prevented your accident. With over 20 years’ experience, you can use our knowledge and expertise to prove this is the case. Importantly, claims are made on a No Win No Fee basis, so you pay nothing if your claim fails and have much to gain if you succeed.
Rest assured that making a claim won’t put the shop out of business – they will hold public liability insurance, and it is the shop’s insurance provider that will pay any compensation rather than the shop itself.
Causes of slips, trips and falls in shops
Shops and other public venues have a duty to follow health and safety guidance to protect customers. You can seek to make a claim if they fail to address hazards properly and you’re injured as a result. Common causes of slips, trips and falls on shop floors include:
- Spillages of liquid or food
- Recently cleaned floors
- Rain or snow walked into the shop
- Leaking roofs, fridges and pipes
- Cardboard, bags or rubbish on the floor
- Broken steps and railings
- Loose wires and discarded items
There are of course other risks of accidental injury that shoppers may face, such as badly stacked displays collapsing, packaging and other debris left on the shop floor to trip over, or shelving units with sharp edges causing lacerations. We have also assisted with a number of claims against stores where claimants have been injured by staff members moving large items of stock without ensuring there are no shoppers in the way.
Can I claim for a slipping on a wet floor in a shop?
Most shopping accident claims arise after a slip on a wet floor. In any shopping environment, the risk of slipping on a wet floor is present and shops should be prepared to do all that they can to minimise the chance of one of their customers slipping and sustaining an injury.
Shops must ensure that any rain water or other spillages are cleaned up as soon as possible. During wet weather, shop entrances should have a mat to enable people to wipe excess rain water from their feet.
Where there’s a risk of injury due to slipping on ice at the entrance to a shop the management has a responsibility to clear the ice in a reasonable time, warn customers of a possible danger and ensure that the area is treated to prevent ice developing.
If there is a spillage, water or other slipping risk present a wet floor sign should be erected to warn of the hazard. These should always be displayed when floors are being cleaned.
If the shop has failed to display a hazard sign warning the floor is wet, you are likely to have a strong claim if you’re injured after slipping over on it. However, even if a hazard sign was erected, you could still be able to claim if it can be demonstrated that the sign was inadequately displayed – hidden or obscured from view, or located in the wrong place.
How to prove the shop is at fault for your injury
To enable a no win no fee solicitor to present a strong claim the correct evidence must be available to prove the shop has been negligent in its duties to protect customers from injury.
First off, it is vitally important to report the details of your accident to the right people. In most cases, anyone injured should insist on the details of their injury and the cause of the accident to be recorded within an accident book. Details held within an accident book can help a claimant prove that the shop in question is liable for their injuries.
If you have an accident within a shop that does not have an accident book, or where you are refused permission to report it in such a way, there are steps that you can take.
CCTV footage and witness statements from other shoppers or staff will provide extra evidence to prove your case.
Medical evidence will also be needed to support a claim – anyone claiming personal injury compensation will need to be able to prove that an injury has been sustained. Therefore, it is vital that you seek medical attention, either from your GP or by visiting the A&E department of a local hospital.
When you present for treatment, advise your GP or nurse as to what caused your injury and where it happened. The details of this, plus any medical diagnosis, treatments provided or referrals for other treatments will be recorded within your medical records. Your solicitor will use this medical evidence to form an estimation of the settlement that you could receive.
Slips and falls can often cause the flare up of an old injury so it’s worth noting that you can claim for the worsening of a pre-existing injury as well as any new ones.
How much can I claim for a fall in a shop?
How much compensation you can claim after a fall in a shop is calculated from the severity of the injury, your financial losses and the impact on your quality of life. For example, a wrist injury that has resulted in permanent pain and stiffness could amount to between £10,000 and £20,000. That’s just for the injury itself, not including ‘special damages‘, which relate to incurred expenses and other effects on the injured person’s life, such as lost income.
Usually we will claim for the following on your behalf:
- The pain and distress caused to you by the injuries sustained
- Associated costs and losses
- Lost earnings if you have been away from work as a result of the accident
- Medical treatments, rehabilitation therapies and post accident care
- Restrictions on your ability to fulfil your usual activities and social life
- Miscellaneous expenses (bus fares, painkillers etc)
Compensation amounts for common fall injuries
There are guidelines issued by the courts for solicitors, but it’s impossible to say exactly how much you can expect as all cases vary. Some example values are listed in the table below for common fall injury claims:
|Type of injury||Compensation amount|
|Neck injury||£2,000 - £140,000|
|Minor brain or head injury||£2,070 - £11,980|
|Finger injury||£4,000 - £85,000|
|Wrist injury||£3,310 - £44,690|
|Hip or pelvis injury||£3,710 - £24,950|
|Fractured forearm||£6,190 - £18,020|
|Permanent back injury||£11,730 - £26,050|
|Serious shoulder injury||£11,980 - £18,020|
|Ankle injury||£12,900 - £46,980|
How do I make a claim?
To find out more about what you should do after a shopping accident and how to make your claim for compensation, contact us. Our specialist slip and trip accident claim solicitors will help you to maximise your settlement and claim without hassle.
You can start your claim online or request a call back, and one of our expert team will be in touch. Alternatively, call us on 01225 430285. We’ll only need a few minutes of your time to let you know if you can make a claim.