Covid-19 and supermarket accidents – Compensation claims for shop injuries

29th Jul 2020
Lisa Boyle

Covid-19 and supermarket accidents – Compensation claims for shop injuries

 

Shopping trips have almost felt like a luxury in recent weeks, as retailers in Scotland are starting to re-open following the Coronavirus pandemic.

And while supermarkets remained open throughout lockdown, there was an undeniable tension amongst shoppers who found simply picking up a few groceries understandably anxiety-inducing.

In most cases however, before Covid-19, a trip to the supermarket normally wouldn’t require a second thought. But if you’ve been left injured from a supermarket accident through no fault of your own, the experience could end up far more painful.

In June this year, a client pursuing a personal injury case through our firm tripped and fell in a supermarket. A pallet had been left in the shopping aisle and he caught his foot on it, falling to his injury.

 

 

Earlier this month another Watermans client attended a tile shop with his wife. An employee showed the couple some large tiles which were on display. As they did so, the wall display collapsed towards the customer. He put his hands up to protect himself but sustained injuries as a result.

These are just a few examples of supermarket compensation claims handled by our expert team of personal injury lawyers during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

 

As a result, our solicitors have become increasingly concerned that with the easing of lockdown, staff members in shops and business may automatically shift their focus to cleaning and social distancing, paying less attention to other hazards.

This may potentially lead to a lesser focus on keeping public areas clear and ensuring the safety of visitors/customers, or a potential increase in trips and slips from cleaning products.

Heather Tierney, a Senior Solicitor at Watermans, says: “Premises have obligations under the Occupiers Liability (Scotland) Act 1960.  Public areas should be kept free from hazards to avoid visitors to the premises sustaining injuries.

 

Heather Tierney

 

“Examples might be spillages, items left in walkways, items stored in such a way that they are likely to fall.

“Whilst it is vitally important that businesses take the necessary steps to help combat Covid-19, this does not excuse them of their responsibilities under the Occupiers Liability (Scotland) Act 1960.”

 

Some examples of supermarket injury claims include;

 

  • Slipping on a substance that should have been cleaned up by staff
  • Items falling on you as a result of them not being stacked properly
  • Staff members pushing trolleys or cages into you
  • Tripping over packaging, cables and other objects
  • Being physically assaulted by a member of staff
  • Electric shocks from faulty equipment

 

Don’t settle for less than you are entitled to

 

Employees in a supermarket are often quick to help and are genuinely concerned for your wellbeing following an accident. However, when complaints are made, it can sometimes happen that the customer is offered points on their loyalty card or a discount on their next shop. The important message here is that although they feel they are being helpful, it’s best to contact an experienced personal injury solicitor to ask exactly what you are entitled to claim following a shopping accident.

 

Steps to follow after an accident in a supermarket

 

Evidence of injuries is not enough to make a claim against a supermarket. You will also require evidence that your injuries were cause due to the negligence of the supermarket. If you have had an accident in a shop or supermarket follow these simple steps, in case you decide to claim for compensation:

  1. Report the accident to the store manager and fill out an accident report form.
  2. Get the names and addresses of any witnesses present.
  3. Keep any medical and travel receipts as well as details of loss of earnings that were affected by the accident.
  4. If possible take a photograph of what caused your accident in the shop or supermarket.

Completing these steps will ensure that you have the best possible chance of gaining the correct amount of compensation for your injuries.

 

What to do next

 

Accidents in supermarkets can cause serious injuries. If the accident is because the supermarket has been negligent, because they failed to put an appropriate system in place, then you are well within your rights to make a claim for compensation. Remember, it’s important to choose solicitors with proven expertise in accidents that have taken place in supermarkets. Contact us today to find out exactly what you are entitled to.