Many businesses use racking and shelving to give them more space and to store their products in an organised way. While there are many benefits associated with racking, they can lead to accidents when not utilised properly. If you’re injured in a racking accident at work, in a shop or in a warehouse, you could be compensated for your suffering if the accident was caused by somebody else’s negligence.
We can help if you’d like to begin a racking accident claim. Our advisors specialise in all types of personal injury claims. They offer a no-obligation consultation so that you can ask any questions and be given free legal advice. If it appears that your claim is strong enough, we’ll ask one of our solicitors to represent you. If they agree, you won’t need to pay legal fees unless you are compensated because of their No Win, No Fee service.
To find out more about racking accident claims, please read on. Alternatively, to start the ball rolling right away, call our team on 0800 652 1345.
Can I claim compensation for a racking accident?
It is important to understand that not all racking accidents will lead to a compensation claim. There needs to be some element of negligence by another party before you can claim compensation for any injuries. The criteria our personal injury lawyers use to assess a claim before accepting it include:
- Were you, the claimant, owed a duty of care by the defendant?
- Did the defendant’s actions (or lack of action) amount to negligence?
- Were you injured in a racking accident caused by the defendant’s negligence?
If you’re able to answer yes to all three points, you may have the grounds to make a racking accident claim. Importantly, you should not be too concerned about proving that a duty of care existed at this point. Your solicitor will be able to verify this on your behalf. Usually, a duty of care can be provided by legislation like the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (for workplace racking accidents) or the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 (for a racking accident in a shop or public place).
You can still help improve your chances of being compensated though by gathering proof to show how the racking accident happened, who was to blame and how your injuries have caused you to suffer. As such, later in this guide, we’ll review the types of proof you could use to support a racking accident claim.
Where are racking systems used?
Shelving and racking systems are used in a variety of commercial and retail environments. In factories and warehouses, racking makes it easier to store more products in an organised way.
Many retailers use racking to allow customers to pick their own stock when they’re ready to make a purchase. Racking is commonly seen in garden centres and furniture shops. Another example of where racking and shelving are used is in public libraries to store books, DVDs and newspapers.
Common racking and shelving accidents
In general terms, the most common accidents involving racking and shelving are where:
- Poorly installed or damaged racking causes items of stock to fall and hit you.
- Products on the racking are stacked unsafely causing the racking to collapse.
- Staff are not trained on how to stack products on shelving properly leading to manual handling injury claims.
The types of injury claims from a racking or shelving accident that might lead to compensation include:
- Concussion injury claims.
- Brain injury claims.
- Back injury claims.
- Amputation claims.
- Finger injury claims.
- Wrist injury claims.
If you’ve been involved in a racking or shelving accident and you believe that you should be compensated, please call our team for a free initial consultation.
Negligence leading to racking accident claims
You may be entitled to compensation for injuries caused by racking or shelving if the incident was caused by:
- Damaged racking or shelving.
- Racking that was not installed according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Inappropriate items being stored on the racking.
- Over stacking.
- Failure to display notices about the safe use of the racking system.
For workplace racking accidents, negligence could include:
- A lack of training for staff.
- Inadequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- Working in confined spaces.
- Asking staff to manually stack products above shoulder height (without lifting aids).
If you have been injured in a racking accident at work, you needn’t worry about claiming compensation from your employer. Legally, they cannot discipline you, bully you or fire you for making a claim and could face separate action if they do so as the result of an honest claim.
How much compensation for a racking accident can I claim?
If you make a successful racking accident claim, a settlement could include compensation to cover:
- Any physical pain and suffering caused by your injuries and treatment.
- PTSD, anxiety, depression and other forms of mental trauma.
- Loss of amenity – the impact your injuries have had on your hobbies, family life and social activities.
- Any income you’ve lost or future loss of earnings for longer-term injuries.
- Care costs to cover the time somebody else spent looking after you while you were recovering.
- Physiotherapy, private treatment and other medical expenses.
- Travel costs.
- Home adaptations for more serious injuries where the changes will improve your quality of life.
It is important to include everything in your racking accident claim as you can’t ask for more compensation after you’ve settled the case with the defendant’s insurers. If one of our solicitors represents you, they’ll use their experience to ensure everything is covered and to try and achieve the highest settlement amount possible for your injuries.
Providing proof for racking accident compensation claims
When you begin a racking or shelving accident claim, your employer or the company you’re claiming against will more than likely refer you to their insurance company. In most cases, the default position will be to deny liability for the accident. It will therefore be up to you to supply proof to show how the racking accident happened, who caused it and how you’ve suffered. The type of proof that could improve your chances of winning a racking accident claim include:
- Photographic evidence. If you are able to do so, you should take pictures of the aftermath of the accident. If racking has collapsed or items have fallen, try to take pictures before anything is removed or repaired.
- Witness information. To help corroborate your version of events, your solicitor might ask any witnesses for a statement of what they saw. For this reason, you should collect their contact details while they are still at the scene.
- CCTV footage. If you were injured because racking collapsed in a warehouse or shop that used CCTV cameras, you should ask to be sent the relevant footage. Data protection laws allow this but bear in mind most footage will be deleted after 30 days.
- Accident reports. If the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated an accident involving racking, their report could be used as proof to support your claim. Also, companies must keep a log of any incidents in an accident report book so you should ask for a copy of the report relating to your accident.
- Medical records. It is important to seek medical attention for any injuries sustained in a racking accident. If you attended the hospital or visited your GP, your medical records could be used to demonstrate the extent of your injuries.
If you’ve been injured in a racking accident and would like us to check whether you have enough proof to make a compensation claim, please call our team today on 0800 652 1345.
Independent medical assessments for racking/shelving accident claims
As part of any personal injury claim, you’ll be required to have a medical assessment to ascertain your prognosis. This can usually be arranged locally by your solicitor and will be conducted by an independent expert.
During your meeting, your injuries will be examined by the specialist and they’ll discuss how your injuries have affected you. Once the meeting has ended, they’ll send a report on your injuries to your solicitor and the defendant’s insurers.
Racking and shelving accident claims time limits
It’s important to note that there is a 3-year time limit for personal injury claims in the UK. This is set in law by the Limitation Act 1980. For most racking and shelving accident claims, the time limit will begin on the date of your accident. However, if a child suffers racking injuries, the time limit will not begin until their 18th birthday. As such, a parent can claim on their behalf at any point before that date.
We believe that obtaining proof is easier the sooner you begin your claim. An early start to the claims process could also mean your solicitor can request an interim payment to cover the cost of private medical treatment for your injuries.
How long do racking accident claims take?
If you’ve suffered minor racking injuries that have healed fully and the defendant admits that they caused your accident, you could receive a compensation payout in around 6 months or so. If more time is needed to fully understand the impact of your injuries or to prove liability for the accident, some claims will take more than a year.
Do I need to go to court?
In the majority of cases, racking accident claims do not need to be resolved in court. Our solicitors only take on claims with a reasonable chance of success and will always try to settle the case with the defendant amicably. In a very low percentage of cases, claims may need to go to court if an agreement cannot be reached over liability or the settlement amount.
No Win, No Fee racking accident claims
The thought of paying a solicitor’s legal fees might put you off starting the claims process. However, if your racking or shelving accident claim is accepted by one of our solicitors, you won’t have to pay for their work unless you are compensated.
The No Win, No Fee service provided by our solicitors means that you:
- Don’t pay legal fees upfront.
- Don’t pay legal fees if the claim fails.
- Will pay a success fee if your claim is won and compensation is paid.
A Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) will be provided to explain all of this in detail if your claim is taken on. It will set out what work your solicitor will do and when you’ll need to pay them.
To see if you could claim for a shelving or racking accident on a No Win, No Fee basis, please call today.
Start a racking accident claim today
If you’ve decided to claim compensation for injuries sustained in a racking accident, call our specially trained advisors on 0800 652 1345 to start the ball rolling.
During your initial consultation, your advisor will review your claim with you and offer free legal advice about your options. If your claim is taken on by one of our solicitors, they can:
- Help with collecting proof to support your claim.
- File the claim with the defendant and deal with all communication on your behalf.
- Provide additional proof if any objections are raised regarding liability for the accident.
- Discuss any settlement offers with you to ensure that they are fair.
Importantly, they’ll do all of this on a No Win, No Fee basis.
For further free advice on racking accident claims, please arrange a free consultation here or use our live chat service to connect with an advisor.