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Most slips and trips in supermarkets often just result in a bruising to the ego and the supermarket offers flowers or extra reward points. However, some accidents can cause serious injury.
By law under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 supermarkets owe a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure visitors to their store are reasonably safe.
This does not mean that supermarkets can be expected to avoid all accidents, but it does mean they have to take reasonable steps to prevent accidents from happening. Some accidents are just that; accidents which cannot be avoided and for which there is no liability.
Other accidents are foreseeable and avoidable. It is entirely predictable that if customers pick up unsecured items like grapes, they can easily end up on the floor, causing a slipping hazard. Therefore, many supermarkets now ensure such loose produce is packaged more securely, to prevent spillages. A failure to do so could be considered negligent.
Unfortunately, many accidents in supermarkets are caused by debris dropped by other customers. It would be impossible for a supermarket to prevent all such tripping/slipping accidents. However, they must take reasonable steps. The claimant would need to show the supermarket had failed to institute a reasonable system of inspection or failed to carry out any cleaning required following inspections.
Accidents in supermarkets are not restricted to customers and we have acted for members of staff who have been injured whilst lifting heavy boxes without appropriate lifting equipment or from tripping over objects left unsuitably in the aisles by their colleagues.
Our specialist Supermarket Accident Solicitors can help you with everything, from claiming compensation for your injury and losses, including loss of wages bus fares and taxi fares to and from hospital treatment and on a continuing basis for the period the injuries affected you. Please keep receipts and a careful note of any expenses reasonably incurred.
Some supermarkets offer an apology and gift vouchers do not accept such offers as you have a legal right to claim proper damages and claim compensation for losses incurred following an accident.
An apology and gift vouchers do not pay your mortgage or bills.
Supermarkets have a duty of care to protect their customers under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 and their staff under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and any failure to fulfil these obligation is negligence on their part.
Supermarkets have a duty to check remove and clean obstructions and substances from floors. An inspection regime should be implemented by the shop or supermarket but rarely is this properly implemented. The burden is on the supermarket to prove the isle or wherever was inspected.
Sometimes, the injured party feels partly to blame for the accident. Even if that is the case, you may still be able to claim. If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a shop, supermarket, shopping centre or similar premises it is important to seek advice from an experienced Supermarket Accident Claim Solicitor at the earliest opportunity.
Faircloughs has over 60 years of experience in this field of Law.
We have had years of successfully concluding cases of this nature on behalf of many clients.
Even if you have been to another Solicitor who has turned the case down please call us to see if we can take the case on your behalf.
Supermarkets have a duty of care to protect their staff and customers under Occupiers Liability Act 1957 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and any failure to fulfil this obligation is negligence on their part.
Do not let yourself be put off by any Legal jargon call us for advice and help on a no win no fee basis.
Use our 60 years of expertise.
We have offices in the North West and cover all areas.
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When people are shopping, they do not pay full attention to where they are walking as they are looking at the products on the shelves. This is obviously the intention of the supermarket and therefore there is a high duty placed on the supermarket or shop to ensure people are safe on their premises.
Supermarkets are busy places covering large areas of floor space with many moving parts. Particularly at peak times, it is easy to see how accidents can happen.
You should immediately report your accident to the supermarket manager. Ask for the details to be recorded in the supermarket accident logbook and take the names of all the staff members involved.
Supermarket staff should offer first aid or call an ambulance if necessary.
No matter what the circumstances, or what your initial reactions are, the safest course of action at this time is to collect all the details while they are readily available and fresh in your mind and that of others with you.
The level of compensation is dependent on the severity of the injuries. There are two main categories of compensation that you can recover in any personal injury claim.
General damages cover the losses which are not easily quantifiable. They relate to the actual injuries suffered and the impact they have had on your quality of life.
You may be disadvantaged in later life due to the injuries and General Damages will cover that aspect of your compensation claim.
General damages include:
Special damages cover other day to day expenses such as taxi fares to and from hospital for treatment. The following below are also included but we will need to speak to you and advise before we can claim any of these items.
A visitor to a supermarket is owed a duty of care no matter how big or small the particular premises. Such duties are owed under the Occupier’s Liability Act 1957 as the shopper is a lawful visitor to the premises and expects floor areas to be made and kept clear of obstruction and slippery substances.
In an accident claim involving a supermarket, so long as the visitor can prove the essential facts that the accident has occurred in the circumstances they outline, then the burden of proof shifts evidentially to the supermarket insomuch as they have a duty to prove that they had an efficient system of cleaning or inspection in place at the time. Failure to prove that such a system operates means that the visitor can in many circumstances be awarded damages for personal injuries and consequential losses.
Supermarket chains and their owners have plenty of information available from the Health and Safety Executive in connection with how to deal with premises which have a large footfall and there is simply no excuse to suggest that such premises are too busy to reduce the risk of slipping to a reasonable level.
Most common area (especially in wet weather) that visitors do slip and fall are store entrances.
Looking at the risks involved in a store entrance, two areas in particular should be targeted for action;
In most supermarkets the floors are quite smooth and have been in place for several years and what should be remembered is that even the slightest light contamination of the floor by water or small spillages can cause people to slip and fall.
The fixed matting at store entrances is in many cases quite limited and designed only to remove dirt from shoes rather than to dry them.
A risk assessment should be undertaken in connection with store entrances and their floors to reduce the risk of slipping.
Steps need to be taken by supermarkets to improve the drying of customers’ footwear as they enter the store and to identify when water was being walked into and onto the floor store and to immediately respond to and remove any walk-in water.
It may perhaps be a solution following a risk assessment in any particular case to provide supplemental matting to be laid out in wet weather to provide a large continuous shoe drying surface.
Another idea that the Health and Safety Executive advise is a system of store greeters who should be permanently on duty at the customer entrance. They should be instructed to ensure that the supplementary mats remained in place and did not fold so as to cause a tripping hazard in themselves and their job should be to check to see if water was being walked in beyond the mats.
It is also advisable for stores to have cleaning staff to respond immediately and replace any wet supplementary matting and in particular to dry mop any walked in water.
Supermarkets should always be looking at dry mopping areas once they have been cleaned. Simply to put a triangular wet floor sign out is unacceptable in many situations.
In particularly bad weather or periods when there was a lot of pedestrian traffic, a cleaner should be employed to continually work at the entrance at the store premises to deal with floor contamination. The cost of employing somebody to do this is well worth it compared to the benefit potential losses from just one slip injury which could be as much as £15,000.00.
By way of risk assessment, the owners of stores are reducing the risk of personal injury claims being brought against them.
Having said all of the above, each particular slipping case has to be dealt with on its own peculiar facts. If you have a slipping accident you need expert advice from a Solicitor who is experienced in dealing with the various defences that supermarkets put up. The fact that a supermarket is a multinational company means absolutely nothing to the law. The duties of Tesco, Asda, Lidl, Sainsburys etc are the same duties in law as those for a very small corner shop.
If you have had an accident due to slipping in a supermarket, you should contact Mark Johnson or Ken Fairclough at Faircloughs Accident Claim Solicitors by telephoning 01942 665 700 / 01942 724 928 or visit the website at www.faircloughs.net
Even if supermarkets have a system of cleaning or inspection in place, you need to consult Faircloughs Accident Claim Solicitors to see if that system was adequate and being properly applied by the particular supermarket in question.
The Health and Safety Executive has various publications in connection with slips and trips and in particular assessing the slip resistance of flooring.
In 95% of cases a claim for personal injuries does not go to court. But if the matter does go to court Faircloughs Accident Claims Solicitors have over 65 years of experience of dealing with this type of claim and we will be there to help you and guide you on the court process if that is necessary.
It is important to note that there is no upfront cost in pursuing a claim for personal injuries.
Mark Johnson, who is a partner at Faircloughs in Golborne and Wigan, is accredited by The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers as a Senior Litigator. This means Faircloughs will have the competence to pursue cases to a court if necessary and Mark will have to have undergone at least 16 hours per year extra training in this field of law.
No. However, Faircloughs have two offices; one in Golborne, near Warrington and the other in Pemberton in Wigan. It is up to you as to which office you visit, although the nearest office to your home will be your local office when enquiring as to how the claim is progressing. You will receive updates in relation to your claim upon request within 7 to 14 working days and usually we will be able to get back to you with an update generally in relation to your claim within 3 months of the claim being lodged with the insurers.
Call Faircloughs Local Accident Solicitors/ Personal Injury Solicitors on 01942-665700 or visit our website on faicloughs.net