I’ve Had an Accident in a Shop. How Do I Claim?

Rachel barr portrait.

Rachel Barr

Chartered Legal Executive

Phone 01264 353411

Email rbarr@bsandi.co.uk

An accident can happen anywhere, including in places where we expect to feel safe.

We often advise people who have been injured in shops. These accidents are commonly slips following a spillage, trips on obstacles like uncleared stock, or injuries caused by items falling off shelves.

All businesses have legal duties to protect the health and safety of everyone on their premises – workers and customers alike. And when something goes wrong, the question of fault (an essential element of a successful personal injury claim) will arise. A customer who ignores a warning sign and slips on a wet floor could be hard-pushed to establish fault on the part of the shop. However, where a shop has done nothing to address a hazard, the situation would be very different.

If you have been injured, whether in a supermarket, shoe shop, or your local newsagents, it is best to make that known to staff at the time. My advice would be to report it straightaway to a senior person in the store. If there are witnesses, ask for their names and contact details. It would also be worth asking if the shop has CCTV that might show what happened. And use your phone to take photos of the area and your injury, and to make any notes about what happened and who you spoke to about it.

This information will all be really important if you decide to talk a solicitor about pursuing a personal injury claim. To win your claim, you would need to show that the shop breached a legal duty towards you and that you suffered an injury because of that. Sometimes those elements will be easily established; in other cases less so. But your solicitor will be able to give you a good indication of your chance of overall success.

Your solicitor will also discuss with you the value of a potential claim. Depending on the type of injury, medical evidence of the extent of what has happened to you (including any longer-term impact) may be needed. How much compensation you stand to win will depend entirely on you and your situation, and it’s a good idea to try to put a figure on this as early as possible, as it will likely affect your decision about whether to proceed with the claim.

To speak to us about an injury you’ve suffered, contact us on 01264 353411 or email info@bsandi.co.uk.

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