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Compensation for Slipping on Sugar Spilled in Supermarket

Compensation claims for slipping on sugar spilled in a supermarket can be complex. The aim of this guide is to educate you about the legal terms you may come across and to help you determine if you are eligible to make a compensation claim. However it is important to remember that this guide is no substitute for seeking professional legal advice from a personal injury solicitor.

Not every accident in a supermarket culminates with a compensation claim, you must be able to demonstrate that the store was negligent which resulted in you slipping on sugar that was spilled in the supermarket and sustaining an injury. The supermarket is unlikely to freely admit to liability considering the damage it could potentially do to their customer service record.

Slipping on spilled sugar in a supermarket

Slipping on spilled sugar in a supermarket

However you should be eligible to claim compensation for a supermarket injury if the damage you sustained was due to a lack of care on behalf of the supermarket staff or a safety oversight.

Who is at Fault for the Accident?

If the sugar spillage had been on the floor for a considerable amount of time before you slipped, you may be eligible to make a compensation claim for slipping in a supermarket as the shop may have been negligent in their duty of care to provide customers with a safe environment. It is important to remember that if you are claiming compensation for a supermarket injury, you will need to provide additional evidence to substantiate your claim.

However accidents which are simply unavoidable can also sometimes occur. For example, the contents of the sugar may have fallen onto the ground from a shopper´s trolley immediately in front of you – and you slipped – breaking your arm as you tried to stop your fall. In this instance it is unlikely you are entitled to claim although there is no doubt that if you sustain an injury the supermarket will do everything in their power to make you as comfortable as possible and call for an ambulance to take you to hospital.

Health Concerns after an Accident in a Supermarket

Your fist priority in the immediate aftermath of an accident should always be your health. Generally the majority of slips, trips and falls in a supermarket are not serious and although you will not be eligible to make a compensation claim for slipping in a supermarket if you are not injured you should still undertake a precautionary medical examination as it could take some time for some injuries to make themselves known.

Receiving immediate professional medical attention removes the risk of the negligent party’s insurance company alleging that you allowed your injury to deteriorate before seeking medical attention – thus adversely affecting your condition by your own lack of care and reducing the amount of compensation you would be entitled to.

Prompt medical attention will ensure that the severity of your injuries are limited and if it is not considered necessary to summon an ambulance for your injuries, you should visit the Accident and Emergency department of your local hospital or make an emergency appointment to see your GP without delay.

Making a Compensation Claim for Slipping in a Supermarket

Once you have received the necessary medical care, you should record your accident in the supermarket’s ‘Accident Report Book’. You should attempt to make your report as comprehensive as possible including details – if you have them – of witnesses who saw your accident as this will aid you if you are claiming compensation for a supermarket injury. You are also advised to retain a copy of the report for your own records and give it to your solicitor when seeking compensation for slipping on sugar spilled in a supermarket.

It is likely that an investigation into factors that led to the accident will be conducted by the supermarket and there may also be an inspection of the store by the Health and Safety Executive in the event of a serious injury on the premises. The results of any inspection carried out could also be used to substantiate your compensation claim for slipping in a supermarket.

You may be approached by the store or their public liability insurers with a direct offer of compensation once you make your report about your accident in the supermarket. If you do receive an unsolicited offer you are advised to refer it to your solicitor as he or she will advise you on the potential amount of compensation you may be entitled to, otherwise you risk being undercompensated for your injuries.

What elements are contained in a Compensation Claim for a Supermarket Injury?

A number of elements must be factored in when assessing a compensation claim for slipping in a supermarket. The severity of the injury you have sustained and the length of time you may take to recover from the injury would be a primary factor when assessing the amount of compensation you are entitled to. Any ‘loss of amenity’ suffered by you should also be accounted for. A loss of amenity would apply if you were unable – due to your injury – to participate in activities and hobbies that you would have normally have taken part in.

You may also be entitled to claim compensation for any psychological trauma suffered as a result of your injury. Being immobile while you recover is something which could lead to depression or anxiety during the recovery process and provided that the psychological injury is quantifiable and verified by a qualified psychiatrist you will be able to include it in your claim.

When claiming compensation for a supermarket injury you could also be entitled to ‘special damages’ these are any expenses you have incurred as a result of your injury once you can provide proof of them through receipts and other documents which support your claim. The cost of alternative transport if you are unable to drive, medical expenses, loss of earnings and alternative travel arrangements can all fall under this remit as well as any legal costs associated with pursuing a compensation claim.

Contributory Negligence when Claiming Compensation for a Supermarket Injury

As mentioned earlier, the legal term ‘contributory negligence’ describes a scenario where you have contributed to your own injury or accident through your own carelessness. If you are pursuing compensation for slipping on sugar spilled in a supermarket, the negligent party may dispute your claim and argue that the slip would have been avoided had the claimant exorcised ‘reasonable care’.

It is unlikely this would occur in this instance however, as the store would be admitting that they do not try to make the goods on their shelves as attractive as possible to get the shopper´s attention. However, the amount of compensation you are entitled to could be reduced by other factors;
for example as mentioned already, failing to seek immediate medical attention could be viewed as contributory negligence as well as a situation where a claimant has been injured after climbing a shelf to reach an item – rather than wait for the help of shop staff – as this would display a lack of care on your behalf.

Early offers of Compensation for your Injury

As we mentioned earlier you should be vigilant if you receive any early offers of compensation from the supermarket’s insurers or the store itself for your injuries as it is unlikely they have your best interests at heart. Insurance companies are always seeking to reduce the cost of premiums to major companies such as supermarket chains, and this is not possible without making savings elsewhere. Whenever the insurance company believe they are liable for negligence they generally try to get you to accept a reduced offer of compensation in return for an early settlement.

However, accepting such an offer leaves you exposed to the risk of being undercompensated for your injuries; should the offer be less than you require for medical treatment. An immediate cash payment may be welcome if you are unable to work and are worried about your finances but you should always refer such offers to your personal injury solicitor, as they will be able calculate the potential value of your compensation claim for slipping in a supermarket to ensure you receive an adequate and fair settlement. The same resources will not be dedicated to investigating your claim by the insurance company therefore it has to be assumed that they are taking a wild guess at what your injuries are worth.

Compensation Offer for your Supermarket Injury Compensation Claim

CCTV cameras are commonplace in supermarkets today, therefore it is likely your accident will have been captured on camera. If this is the case, the insurance company will be fully aware that their client is responsible for your injuries (or else they would not have made the offer).

An early offer of compensation is a positive sign and while you should never accept it without contacting your personal injury solicitor first, a direct and unsolicited offer shows the supermarket admit liability for your injury and that their insurance company will be open to negotiations with your solicitor.

Claiming Compensation for Slipping on Sugar Spilled in a Supermarket

Although some people believe seeking compensation for slipping on sugar spilled in a supermarket is trivial or a waste of solicitor’s time, this is not the case. Personal injury solicitors deal with queries about direct offers of compensation all the time and they are also contacted for their expertise in many other claims such as an accident in a supermarket where a child has been injured, or a situation where someone has recently been diagnosed with an injury related to an accident in a supermarket in the past, these are all very different processes with very different outcomes that will need the expertise of a personal injury solicitor to ensure the claimant receives the maximum possible compensation to which they are entitled.

No two compensation claims are the same, so it is important that you seek professional legal advice to determine if you are eligible to claim compensation for slipping on sugar spilled in a supermarket, and to determine the amount of compensation you should be entitled to. Let your solicitor be the judge of whether your injury claim is trivial or whether you are justified in claiming compensation for a supermarket injury.