Sometimes we slip and fall, but it isn’t always our fault. If you’ve suffered an injury by slipping, tripping or falling in a supermarket, you may have a right to claim slip and fall compensation for what happened. Supermarket injuries fall under the area of Public Liability Law. From reporting to lodging, here is our guide to making a successful slip and fall claim.
Report the accident
It’s important to clarify that simply sustaining an injury in a supermarket isn’t sufficient proof to make a public liability claim. You must demonstrate that your injury was a result of the supermarket’s negligence. If you believe you can prove this, report your injury to the supermarket so that they are aware. Keep any records of communication you have with them.
Consult A Lawyer
Getting in touch with a personal injury lawyer is the next step. They can determine if you are eligible to make a slip and fall claim and what you could potentially be compensated for. This could include medical expenses, loss of earnings, assistance or home modification depending on the injury.
Understand What You Need to Prove
Supermarket injuries will be different for each person. Based on your injury, your lawyer will tell you what you need to prove. Three important factors must be proven in order to successfully make a slip and fall claim:
- The party at fault owed you a duty of care. This is determined on a case-by-case basis. Generally, supermarkets owe a duty of care to any customers who are legally present on the premises.
- The party at fault breached that duty of care. A breach means that the supermarket has not taken reasonable steps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those who are owed a duty of care. For example, when a supermarket doesn’t clean a spillage or have warning signs placed around potential hazards.
- You were injured or suffered loss as a result of this breach. This can refer to a physical or psychological injury resulting in unwanted expenses.
Start Collecting Evidence
In order to prove supermarket injuries, you must have evidence. Begin the collection process as early as possible. The more evidence you can present, the stronger your case will be and the more compensation you can receive. Evidence could include:
- A record of correspondence between you and the party at fault
- Photographs of the location and surroundings where the injury occurred
- Photographs of the injury sustained
- Photographs of footwear worn at the time of the accident
- Surveillance footage of the incident
- A statement of events written by the injured party
- Medical records of your injury (appointment dates, medical certificates and x-rays)
- Witness names, contact details and statements
- A record of receipts of any expenses incurred due to your injury
- A record of any lost wages due to your injury
Lodge Your Public Liability Claim
Once you’ve collected substantial evidence to prove your claim and consulted with your lawyer, the next step is to lodge your slip and fall claim. You will need to make sure that all legal action is undertaken within the three-year limitation period.
Settle and Receive
If your claim is successful then you will reach a settlement. The length of time this will take will depend on your recovery. While some supermarket injuries can be minor, others may be substantial. If you make a quick recovery then a settlement can usually be agreed upon in less time.
If your injury persists for an extended time then the settlement process can often take longer. This is for your benefit, as determining the exact nature of your injuries will ensure that you receive fair compensation for any current and future losses.
The amount of compensation that you can receive will depend on your circumstances. The type of compensation you might receive could include:
- Medical expenses: Including hospital fees, doctors fees, and cost of medication.
- Loss of earnings: Such as time off work, loss of overtime and additional hours, or a loss of a potential promotion.
- Care and assistance: In cases where supermarket injuries require you to seek assistance from other people to help with household duties and personal care.
- Home modification: Where you may require modifications to your home in to accommodate for your injuries (such as installing a ramp).
- Pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
For more information about making a Public Liability claim, get it touch with Schreuders today.