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Claiming for Walking Into an Automatic Glass Door in a Supermarket

Persons considering claiming for walking into an automatic glass door in a supermarket should be aware that pursuing a personal injury claim against the supermarket will require them to prove that someone else’s negligent behaviour led to their injuries being sustained. It is not uncommon for injuries to be sustained by shoppers while browsing the supermarket shelves –indeed, in supermarkets like Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer with over 2,700 stores; it is inevitable that an accident will take place from time-to-time.

Tripping at a supermarket entrance

Tripping at a supermarket entrance

Not every accident which takes place in a supermarket or in its car park is eligible to be the subject of a claim for compensation however, and supermarkets are unlikely to readily admit to negligence – particularly supermarkets like Tesco, which are known for their high standard of customer service and “Every Little Helps” advertising campaign.

Nevertheless, you should be eligible to pursue compensation from a supermarket if you have tripped, slipped or experienced a fall for which the supermarket was in some way responsible. The following article was compiled to provide potential claimants with an overview of the procedures involved in claiming compensation from a supermarket. While the article was researched with the intention of providing as much information on the subject as possible, it should not be used as a substitute for legal advice. Potential claimants who believe that they may be eligible to claim compensation from a supermarket should speak to a personal injury claims solicitor without delay.

Was it an Accident and Was Negligence Involved?

Although persons considering claiming for walking into an automatic glass door in a supermarket may have cause to complain if the door’s operating mechanism was faulty, if there was a power outage which led to the door becoming unresponsive, or if its sensor was malfunctioning, in some cases accidents are simply unavoidable. For example, if a person slipped on a grape which fell out of another shopper’s trolley, injuring themselves on impact with the ground, Tesco can hardly be held responsible, though their staff will more than likely try to make you as comfortable as possible until medical assistance can be provided.

The only way a person could pursue compensation from a supermarket in that scenario is if the grape had been lying on the ground for an extended period of time. If this were the case, the supermarket’s staff may have to shoulder some or all of the blame as they neglected to ensure that the aisle was clear of obstructions and thus failed in their “duty of care” to their customers. Even if this were the case however, a claimant would still have to prove that the supermarket’s negligence led to their accident in order to seek a settlement. Here are a few more examples of instances of when a supermarket might be found to be negligent:-

  • Slipped in the supermarket’s car park due to snow and ice bot being cleared properly
  • Tripped over a box left in an aisle
  • Skidded on a pool of water near the floristry section

Health Concerns after a Tesco Accident

After colliding with an automatic door in a supermarket your first priority should be your health – claiming for walking into an automatic glass door in a supermarket may not be possible if a full medical report of your injuries is not available, and receiving first aid at the scene, waiting to be treated or tending to your injuries yourself will not be deemed as sufficient enough action for compensation to be award.

Many accidents sustained in supermarkets do not enable a shopper to seek a settlement from a personal injury claim, and simply result in bruised pride and a case of mild embarrassment. Some however, can be more serious than they first appear – making it even more important to seek a medical examination immediately after the accident. Symptoms of an injury can often take days or weeks to manifest themselves, and as mentioned above, if you wait too long to have your injuries treated, it could make you ineligible to claim compensation or see you forfeit a chunk of your settlement.

If you wait a significant period of time to have your injury treated you may aggravate it, which could lead to permanent damage. No amount of compensation will be able to make up for having to deal with a permanent injury for the rest of your life, and so if you have not done so already, you should immediately visit the nearest hospital or GP for an examination.

Procedure to Follow After an Accident

In order to further bolster the evidence that will be needed for claiming for walking into an automatic glass door in a supermarket you should request to submit an entry in the supermarket’s Accident Report Book; you should also ask to retain a copy. Your evidence should be as comprehensive as possible – this means obtaining the contact details of any witnesses, requesting CCTV footage and if necessary or possible at the time, photographic evidence. If you are unsure of any of the steps needed in your particular case or need more guidance, you should speak with a solicitor immediately.

Making an entry in the Accident Report Book can also be important to claimants looking to seek a settlement as it provides a point of reference for any follow-up investigations, carried out by either the Health Service Executive or the supermarket’s owner.

After filing an accident report you might find yourself receiving an unsolicited offer of compensation from either the supermarket or its insurance company. If this happens, be sure to contact your solicitor as soon as possible to have the offer of compensation reviewed. You should never accept an unsolicited offer of personal injury claim compensation before finding out whether or not it fully compensated you for your injuries and the costs brought on by them – often unsolicited offers of compensation fall well short of what you would be awarded if you were to pursue compensation from a supermarket and seek a settlement in court.

How Much for Persons Who Pursue Compensation from a Supermarket?

There are a number of different variables which a solicitor takes into account before providing an estimate of how much compensation a claimant is likely to receive when claiming for walking into an automatic glass door in a supermarket. Persons who pursue compensation from a supermarket can seek a settlement which reimburses them for the length of time they have had to or will have to wait before making a full recovery, which takes into consideration the nature and severity of the injury, and which provides remuneration for any “loss of amenity” – the inability to perform everyday tasks and duties, and participate in activities and hobbies – experienced as a result of being injured.

You may also be able to claim for any emotional trauma suffered as a result of your injuries – while the embarrassment of walking into a glass door does not entitle you to qualify to claim for psychological damages, any depression, anxiety or stress that accompanied the injury would, provided it could be quantified by a psychiatrist.

Any expenses you have incurred as a direct result of your injuries can also be recovered for as part of your personal injury claim, provided they are supported by documentary evidence such as receipts. This portion of a settlement is known as “special damages” and covers transport costs, medical bills, missed earnings, and even home augmentation should a wheelchair ramp or other medical apparatus need to be installed.

Factoring in Contributory Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim

Persons claiming for walking into an automatic glass door in a supermarket may have their case challenged by a defendant arguing that the accident could have been avoided if the claimant had acted “with reasonable care”. If someone seeking a personal injury claim is found to have contributed in some way toward their own injury they may have to forfeit a portion of their settlement to reflect their own lack of care.

While the term “reasonable care” does not necessarily apply to a compensation claim made against a supermarket – because in this instance it would mean the supermarket claiming that they encourage shoppers to concentrate on the door and not on their offers and products, which is untrue – there are other areas where contributory negligence would be applicable and could damage the case of a person who wishes to pursue compensation from a supermarket.

Failing to seek proper medical attention can be seen as contributory negligence and harm claimant’s opportunity to seek a settlement. Another example of when a shopper would be guilty of contributory negligence is if they reached to the top shelf for a product, and knowingly took the chance of having a product fall in them, rather than ask an employee for assistance.

Unsolicited Offers of Compensation When Trying to Seek a Settlement

As mentioned above, persons claiming for walking into an automatic glass door in a supermarket should decline any initial offers of compensation they receive from either the supermarket or the public liability insurers which represent them as they often do not represent what a claimant is truly entitled to. The reason insurers often make unsuitable and inappropriate offers is that they want to limit the cost of dealing with the large corporations which often own supermarkets – enabling them to retain their custom and free up time to concentrate on other matters. When negligence is in doubt (as discussed in the last section) insurers may propose offers which are lower still.

Inasmuch as an offer of immediate compensation is a welcome development for many persons trying to pursue compensation from a supermarket, offers of this nature often fall short of what claimant needs to pay their medical bills, or even utility bills in the case of someone who has had to take time off work. Persons trying to pursue compensation from a supermarket should always refer the offer an unsolicited offer of compensation to their solicitor immediately after receiving it. No insurance company will dedicate as much time and resources to resolving your claim as your solicitor and in many cases the offers made by insurance companies are guesswork or rough estimates.

While the offer may be less than to what you are entitled for a personal injury claim, an unsolicited offer of compensation is not necessarily a bad thing. The offer signifies that the insurance company recognises that you are entitled to compensation and that it may be open to negotiating with your solicitor. Almost all supermarkets in the UK are fitted with CCTV cameras for security purposes, and there is a good chance that one of these captured your fall. If this is the case, the insurance company will already be aware of this.

Legal Advice for Claiming for Walking into an Automatic Glass Door in a Supermarket

Some people believe that claiming for walking into an automatic glass door in a supermarket is frivolous and that it is not worth bothering their solicitor about. This is untrue however, especially if you have been approached by an insurance company with an unsolicited offer of compensation. Different procedures will need to be followed where different types of accidents are involved too – being diagnosed with an injury which is attributable to an injury you suffered in Tesco some time ago, and a case involving a child, for example. Whatever the nature of the accident, consulting a solicitor is the first step to a personal injury claim.

No two persons who pursue compensation from a supermarket will encounter the same set of circumstances and professional legal advice will allow you to determine how likely you are to be awarded a settlement and how much you are entitled to. You should allow your solicitor to judge whether or not your idea to seek a settlement is frivolous or not.