Despite taking all possible precautions, everyday across the UK people get injured as a result of slips, trips and falls whilst out doing their shopping. A fall anywhere can be distressing enough, and when it happens outside the home, it can be extremely embarrassing as well.
The first thing most people do when they fall in any public place is look around to see if anybody witnessed their humiliating accident. Then they try to quietly and quickly get off the floor and walk casually away to avoid calling any attention to what just happened. This is absolutely the wrong thing to do. Embarrassing it may be, but what is more important is that a fall can also cause you grievous injury and that is not something you should ignore.
If you slip, trip or fall while shopping, there are two things you should do immediately. The first is to get the names and phone numbers of the other shoppers who may have seen what happened and the second is to try and determine what caused it. These two steps are very important and will help you when you pursue your legal entitlements.
The Principle Behind Claiming For Injuries While Shopping
Most shoppers do not realise that they may have legal grounds for a personal injury claim for compensation under such circumstances. They just dismiss it as an unfortunate accident. While it may have been an accident, according to the law and advice from the Health and Safety Executive which you can find here, all shops, restaurants and public venues have a duty to ensure that their premises are safe for their visitors and clients.
When you walk into a shop or supermarket, you are entering a business premises that is owned or rented by the business. This business is responsible for any accidents that may occur on their premises.
Some falls may be minor and cause nothing more than a bump or a bruise but some falls can be more serious and result in severe long-lasting injuries. This could mean having to pay expensive medical bills in addition to loss of income if you are forced to stay away from work for a while.
If you fall and suffer any injury while shopping, you may be entitled to some amount of compensation for your pain and suffering and any financial losses you may have incurred as a result of the accident and loss of earnings.
What Causes Slip and Fall Accidents While Shopping?
Some of the more common causes of slips and falls while shopping include:
• Wet or polished floors
• Slippery floor due to food or liquid spillages
• Worn or frayed carpets
• Uneven flooring
• Unattended cables and wires lying around
• Shop floor fittings
• Unguarded work by contractors
• Inadequate warning signs
• Badly constructed or badly designed staircases
• Obstructed stairs, walkways or corridors
Irrespective of the direct cause, breach of duty on the part of the shop or business owner is considered to be the overriding cause and because of this, if you sustain a personal injury as a result of an accident while shopping you are entitled to be compensated by the shop owner.
What You Need To Do After A Slip, Trip Or Fall Injury
To make a successful personal injury compensation claim after a slip, trip or fall, you would need to prove that another person was responsible for your personal injury. In this case, that person would be the shop owner.
Here are some things you can do in case you are injured in such an accident:
• Get photographs of the area where the accident occurred with a special focus on what caused you to slip, trip or fall.
• Get the contact details of the others shoppers who witnessed the accident.
• File a written report with a staff member or security before you leave the premises.
If you needed any medical attention for injuries sustained during a slip and fall accident, keep all of the receipts so you can claim prescription and medical expenses as well as travelling expenses.
Most importantly, no matter how trivial the accident may seem, get in touch with a personal injury lawyer to file a claim for compensation. Do not try to file the claim yourself if you don’t know the law. It can be a long, complicated process and your primary focus should be on regaining your health.
At the time of the accident you may feel like the injury is minor and does not warrant a compensation claim. However, you will be glad you did should the injury surface at a later time. Filing a claim will help you get some compensation for all the expenses and inconveniences you had to incur because of the accident.