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How to Claim Compensation for Slipping on Spilled Yoghurt in a Supermarket

While compensation for slipping on spilled yoghurt in a supermarket may not seem like the most common type of personal injury claim, it is an example of the wide range of injuries which may occur in a supermarket. With thousands of supermarkets across the UK, it is a certainty that a person will seek to claim compensation for a supermarket injury every now and then. Not all spilled yoghurts accidents will be eligible for injury compensation and, in order to be successful in your claim, you must prove that your injury occurred as a result of the negligence of the supermarket.

This guide will use spilled yoghurt as an example of the various methods in which a compensation claim for a supermarket injury may proceed. But there are many different ways in which an injury may occur in a supermarket and, if you wish to determine whether your specific injury is eligible for compensation, you are advised to contact a personal injury solicitor at the earliest opportunity.

Establishing Between an Accident and Negligence

Your eligibility for compensation for slipping on spilled yoghurt in a supermarket can be determined by whether the supermarket was liable for your injury. There are times when an accident cannot be prevented – for instance, if the yoghurt fell out of the trolley of the shopper directly in front of you, which resulted in you slipping and breaking your arm. The supermarket could not be held liable for your accident in these circumstances, although will surely do anything possible to ensure your comfort after the accident as you await an ambulance.

The store may be liable for a supermarket accident claim if the spillage had been lying on the floor for a significant amount of time; in which case they have been negligent in their duty to provide a safe environment in which to shop. Even in this scenario, their carelessness would have to be apparent in various other ways if an accident claim is to have a strong likelihood of success. These are a few instances in which a supermarket could be negligent in a personal injury case:-

  • If you fell in a supermarket car park as ice and snow was lying around
  • If you tripped over a box which had carelessly been left in the middle of an aisle
  • If you slipped near the floristry section due to a puddle of water on the floor

Prioritising Your Health after a Supermarket Accident

Before considering whether you can claim compensation for a supermarket injury, your priority should be to seek immediate medical attention. Luckily the majority of injuries sustained after a fall in a supermarket do not extend beyond damage to the ego. Even if you feel have not been injured severely, you should seek medical attention as a precaution.

Some injuries may not display symptoms for days or weeks after the accident. However you are always advised to receive medical attention as soon as possible not only for health reasons, but also to disregard the dismissal of your claim for contributory negligence – in which your failure to seek medical attention resulted in the deterioration of your injuries, and as a result you contributed to your condition due to your own carelessness.

Regardless of the value of compensation offered for a supermarket accident claim, it will never compensate for any long-term incapacity which may arise as a result of failure to seek immediate medical treatment. If your injury was not severe to the extent that an ambulance was required, you should attend the Accident and Emergency department of the nearest hospital or make a visit to your GP as soon as possible.

Initial Procedures when Claiming Compensation for Slipping on Spilled Yoghurt in Supermarket

Upon receiving treatment for your injuries, the next step in claiming compensation for slipping on spilled yoghurt in a supermarket is to log a report in the supermarket’s “Accident Report Book”. This report should be as detailed as possible, and include the contact information of anyone who may have witnessed your accident occurring. A copy of this report should be kept in order to support your supermarket accident claim.

There is the possibility that an investigation will be carried out by the supermarket in order to establish what caused the accident. If your injury was particularly serious, the Health Service Executive may carry out an inspection of the store. Your claim can be assisted by the result of this inspection if it occurs, making your entry to the supermarket’s “Accident Report Book” even more crucial.

It is also possible that upon reporting your accident, you will be approached by the supermarket or their insurers before you can claim compensation for a supermarket injury. You are strongly advised not to accept any offer of compensation until you have consulted with a solicitor and you are aware of the amount of compensation to which you are entitled.

Compensation Amount for a Supermarket Accident Claim

When calculating compensation for slipping on spilled yoghurt in supermarket, a solicitor must consider various elements. The first will be the injury itself, its seriousness and how long it will take in order to recover from it. Loss of amenity will also be considered, which will take into account any deterioration you have experienced in your quality of life. For instance, if you can no longer perform everyday tasks or partake in pastimes you once enjoyed due to your injuries, this may be an element of your compensation.

Psychological trauma can also be included with your supermarket accident claim for compensation. While you might not claim compensation for the embarrassment caused by your injury, if you develop depression or anxiety while recovering from your injuries this may be entitled to compensation, as long as this is supported by a qualified psychiatrist.

You are advised to keep receipts for any quantifiable expenses which you may have incurred as a direct result of your injury, which can also be an element of your compensation. These expenses can include medical costs, loss of income, the cost of alternative travel if you are unable to drive and the legal costs you incurred while seeking to claim compensation for a supermarket injury.

How Contributory Negligence can affect Supermarket Accident Claims

The compensation for slipping on spilled yoghurt in a supermarket to which you may be entitled could be affected by contributory negligence. As previously mentioned, contributory negligence occurs when you were at least partially responsible for your injuries due to your own carelessness. A defence which may very well be used against your claim is that “with reasonable care”, the claimant could have avoided being injured.

A supermarket may not use the “reasonable care” argument against a claim for slipping on goods on the floor of the supermarket – as they would be admitting that they do not try to make their goods look eye-catching on their shelves and you therefore should have noticed the spilled yoghurt. However eligibility to claim compensation for a supermarket injury could be damaged due to other factors which may be determined to be contributory negligence.

As mentioned before, not seeking medical attention immediately after an accident could be considered to be contributory negligence, as could situations such as falling from a shelf which a customer has climbed in order to reach an item rather than await help from a shop assistant. This could be viewed as carelessness on behalf of the claimant, resulting in a reduction to the compensation to which they may be entitled.

Unsolicited Offers of Compensation for Slipping on Spilled Yoghurt in Supermarket

As discussed previously, an offer of compensation for slipping on spilled yoghurt in a supermarket which is made soon after an accident should first be referred to your solicitor and not immediately accepted. Insurance companies, eager to keep the cost of premiums to large clients such as supermarkets at a reduced rate, need to make savings elsewhere. In these cases, when the negligence clearly lies with the supermarket, you will be urged by the insurance company to accept an offer of compensation which is far lower than what you would normally be entitled to – possibly before you even have the opportunity to claim compensation for a supermarket injury.

While it may be tempting to accept a settlement for your supermarket accident claim if your financial situation is of urgent concern, you will be unable to return to the insurance company for additional funding if it transpires the compensation settlement was not enough to cater for your medical needs or to support your family. It is important to contact a solicitor at the earliest opportunity in order to place a value on your injuries and ensure that a final offer of compensation is fair and will cover your requirements. After all – an insurance company will take a guess as to how much compensation you are due, while your solicitor will analyse your injuries in depth.

It should also be noted that many supermarkets will be equipped with CCTV cameras. Your accident may have been recorded on a camera, and if this is the case the insurers will be aware that their client is liable for your injuries. Receiving an unsolicited offer of compensation at least indicates that the supermarket has acknowledged their liability for your accident, and that negotiations can take place between your solicitor and the insurers.

Further Advice on how to Claim Compensation for a Supermarket Injury

Some may fear that their claim to compensation for slipping on spilled yoghurt in a supermarket may be trivial, or they are wasting their solicitor’s time regarding the accident. However receiving an offer of compensation indicates that consultation with a solicitor should occur sooner rather than later. If a child has been injured in an accident at a supermarket, or if you have just been diagnosed with an injury related to a past accident, different procedures may have to be followed to pursue a supermarket accident claim; and your solicitor can provide you with further information in this respect.

You will never encounter two claims for accident injury compensation at a supermarket which will be identical, so it is crucial that professional legal advice is sought in order to establish your eligibility to compensation. Your solicitor can then determine whether or not you have a legitimate claim to compensation for a supermarket accident and injury – which will enable you to decide whether you have a claim for compensation for slipping on spilled yoghurt in a supermarket worth your while to pursue.