A Guide To Claiming For An Accident In A Supermarket

By Danielle Graves. Last Updated 22nd May 2023. Suffering an injury in an accident in a supermarket can be painful, traumatic and disruptive to your life.

Slips, trips and falls can lead to a range of different injuries, from sprained ankles to brain damage.

It’s vital that supermarkets ensure that their premises are safe for the public, both inside and out.

In this guide, we offer advice on supermarket accident claims. We cover the criteria to make a claim, what the process involves, and potential compensation payouts.

And if you did want to make a personal injury claim, we can help.

To get free advice on your situation call us on 0161 696 9685

You can also write to us about your accident in a supermarket by heading here.

Supermarket accident claim

How to make a supermarket accident claim

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The Criteria For Making A Claim After An Accident In A Supermarket

To be eligible to make a supermarket accident claim, you will need to prove that you suffered your injuries due to the supermarket breaching their duty of care. A breach of duty of care that leads to injury is known as negligence.

You are owed a duty of care while out in public spaces. The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 states that anyone in control of a public space (an occupier) must take all the necessary steps to ensure your reasonable safety whilst you are using that space for its intended purposes. This is the duty of care they owe you. This duty also extends to supermarkets.

If they were to fail to adhere to this duty of care, you could be injured in an accident in a shop, and you may be eligible to make a claim. For example, if you slip on a wet floor that was not signposted and due to this, you experience a fractured bone.

If you have any questions about claiming for personal injury compensation, please get in touch with one of our advisors for free advice using the contact information at the top of the page.

How Long Do I Have To Claim For An Accident In A Supermarket?

In order to be able to successfully claim compensation, you should ensure that your claim is started within the time limit. You need to start your supermarket accident claim either:

  • 3 years from the date the accident in the supermarket happened
  • 3 years from the date you received a medical diagnosis for the injury you are claiming for

If a child is injured after an accident in a supermarket due to negligence, the time limit is suspended until their 18th birthday. People under the age of 18 do not have a time limit. However, a litigation friend could start the claim on their behalf at any point during the suspended period.

An exception can also be made for people who are mentally unable to start their claim. Usually, their time limit is suspended – resuming only when/id they are mentally able to start their claim. A litigation friend can also similarly represent them within the suspended time.

This is all in accordance with the Limitation Act 1980.

If you have concerns about your time limit, or want more information about supermarket accident claims please reach out to a member of our team.

The Causes Of Supermarket Accidents

There are many different types of accidents that could potentially happen in a supermarket resulting in an injury of some kind, with some being more common than others, and most of these being preventable. In fact, slip, trip and fall accidents are the most common of all and completely preventable. Likewise, although many different types of injuries can be suffered, there are a few that tend to be more common than others.

The following accidents and subsequent injuries could lead to a supermarket accident claim.

  • Wet Floors – A floor in a supermarket may become wet due to a number of reasons such as cleaning, wet weather conditions, leaking appliances such as fridges and freezers, leaking pipes or taps in the toilets and so on. Wet floors leave a slippery surface and should be dealt with immediately and warning signs should also be put in place.
  • Spillages – Any spillages should also be cleared as soon as possible to prevent the floor from being slippery. Again, warning signs should also be put in place.
  • Obstructions in the walkways – Walkways should be kept clear of any clutter or items that may produce a trip hazard.
  • Falling stock – Stock or any other item in a supermarket that has been stacked incorrectly or placed dangerously could result in the items falling onto someone causing an injury.
  • Lifting and handling – This particularly concerns staff, if they are not trained in the proper lifting and handling techniques, they could suffer from an injury.
  • Defective equipment – Poor maintenance of any equipment within a supermarket could lead to someone becoming injured.

What Responsibilities Do Supermarkets Owe The Public And Employees?

As mentioned earlier, supermarkets have a duty of care to provide a safe environment to all that come into the store including those who work there, those that are there to shop and anyone else such as tradesmen for example that may need to visit the store. Outside premises that belong to the supermarket such as car parks are also included in this. If a supermarket fails to prevent an accident from occurring due to negligence, then providing it can be proven, they could be found liable for any compensation claims brought against them.

Supermarkets are bound by the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 which states that any owners or occupiers of premises must do everything they can to provide a safe environment for visitors.

Also, under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 regulations, supermarkets are also legally expected to do everything they can to ensure the safety and well-being of their staff whilst at work. Under the guidance of the legislation, the supermarket employers are expected to have health and safety policies and procedures that relate to different areas of their premises put in place, and staff trained sufficiently so that they can adhere to them. They are expected to provide personal health and safety training too such as training in lifting and handling techniques. Risk assessments should be regularly carried out and strategies put in place to deal with any potential risks found.

Examples of how a supermarket may deal with potential accident risks and avoid a supermarket accident claim:

  • Slips – Staff should have had training in what to do if a slip hazard is presented. If the floor becomes wet due to wet weather conditions outside, ‘wet floor’ warning signs should be put up immediately and an attempt to dry the floor should be made. If there is a leak or spillage, again, ‘wet floor’ signs should be put in place and the floor cleared as soon as possible.
  • Trips and falls – Part of the health and safety training should include general housekeeping. Any walkways of spaces should be kept clear of any items causing an obstacle or trip hazard. Any areas on the premises that may be uneven, such as in the car park, for example, should be either dealt with and maintained or have warning signs to alert staff and visitors of a possible trip hazard.
  • Equipment – All equipment should regularly be tested and maintained to ensure that it remains in good working order.
  • Falling items – Shelves should be regularly checked and maintained to ensure they are strong and sturdy. Also, the employers should provide staff with training in stacking stock and filling shelves.
  • Heavy items and moving stock – All staff should receive adequate and correct training in lifting and handling techniques in order to prevent them from suffering an injury when lifting and moving stock.

If a supermarket fails to have the relevant health and safety policies and procedures in place, if they fail to train their staff sufficiently or fail to act in time to either prevent or stop an accident causing injury from occurring, they may be found liable due to negligence.

However, there are times when an accident resulting in an injury occurs, and where the supermarket will not be found liable. An example of this is, if a jar of cooking sauce was dropped and it smashed leaving a slippery spillage on the floor and someone immediately slipped over and got injured, because the supermarket hadn’t had a reasonable amount of time to act accordingly to clear the spillage and erect warning signs, they wouldn’t be found liable. However, if the spillage had occurred and wasn’t dealt with in a reasonable amount of time and someone then slipped and became injured, then they could be found liable for compensation because they were negligent in their duty of care.

In circumstances where the supermarket has everything in place as it should be and do everything they possibly can to prevent an accident but somebody still gets injured, then it is unlikely that they would be found liable and any compensation case brought against them would be unsuccessful. But if they are found to have been negligent and found in breach of their duty of care, and someone is injured, then they may have successful supermarket accident compensation claims brought against them.

If you’d like professional advice on whether your incident could constitute a supermarket accident claim, call our team on the number at the top of the page.

What Can Payouts In Supermarket Accident Claims Include?

Due to being such busy places and often understaffed, supermarkets are one of the most common places for an accident or incident resulting in injury to occur.  Although every case will be different there are a number of common items that can and should be included in supermarket compensation claims. These are:

  • General Damages – These cover the physical aspects of your claim and reflect the severity of the injury, the pain and suffering you have endured and any psychological problems that are of direct consequence. The long term prognosis will also be taken into account here.
  • Special Damages – These relate to the impact on your finances that the injury may have had. Any lost earnings or benefits and any future potential loss of income will be included here. Monetary losses are commonplace under these circumstances especially if the injury was severe and has any long term effects that could cause problems with returning to work.
  • Medical Expenses – Any medical costs that you have incurred directly in relation to the accident and injury should be included so keep hold of any receipts. Private health care can be taken into account if you were unable to be treated under the NHS for any reason. Long term care costs can also be included and any other anticipated medical costs as a direct result of your injury, this also includes any psychiatric care costs.
  • Travel Expenses – Any travelling costs that you have had to pay as a direct consequence of the accident and injury can be included in your claim.
  • Care Claim – If someone such as a friend or relative has helped you in the home or given you personal care due to your injury, they can also file a claim against the supermarket responsible for your injury.

What Should I Do If I Have An Accident In A Supermarket?

When claiming for an injury in a supermarket, there are a number of things that you can do that will support your turn of events and show proof of your injury. If at all possible, try to do as many of the following as you can:

  • Photos – Take photos of the place where the accident took place and try to photograph if possible the reason for the accident, for example, the spillage on the floor or the faulty equipment you were using. Also, take photos of your injury to show visual proof of your pain and suffering.
  • Accident Report – Make sure that the accident is recorded in the accident book. Reporting an accident in a shop in an accident book is a legal requirement so the supermarket should do this, but it’s always best to make sure. Ask for a copy of the report for yourself also.
  • Witnesses – If there were any witnesses to the accident or the events leading up to the accident, try to get their contact details. Witness statements can be very beneficial when trying to prove liability.
  • Medical Report – Seek medical treatment for your injury. A medical report will be drawn up which will include the details of your injury, treatment and future prognosis. If you need to go in an ambulance, ask for the ambulance staff’s contact details as they may be able to testify the pain and suffering you endured from the initial injury.

Contact Legal Helpline for further help and guidance with this.

Compensation Payouts In Supermarket Accident Claims

How much compensation for a fall in the supermarket? How much compensation for slipping on a wet floor? Everyone who files a compensation claim wants to know what they might be awarded for their supermarket injury should they win. However, due to the large variety of accidents and injuries that could take place in a supermarket and the effect an injury may have on one person compared to that of another, it would be impossible to give an exact answer as each case is unique.

In the table below, we are able to show some average award amounts for some of the most common types of injuries sustained in an accident or incident in a supermarket.

The higher end of the compensation amounts is awarded to those whose injuries are considered more severe, while the less severe an injury is, the smaller the compensation award. Although some injuries may not appear severe initially, some may commonly worsen over time or have side effects later on in life. These types of injuries will be looked into carefully and the award amount will reflect the findings.

Other factors that make up the final award amount such as medical expenses and lost income etc, are completely unique to the claimant and so will vary from case to case.

Reason for CompensationAverage Award AmountComments
Leg Injury - Severe£240,790 to £282,010
Amputation of both legs.
Leg Injury - Moderate£27,760 to £39,200

Complicated fractures or breaks, some loss of use, continuous pain and discomfort, extensive scarring, surgery required and possibly bone grafts.
Back Injury - Severe£38,780 to £160,980Disk and soft tissue injury leading to chronic pain, to injuries where paralysis as a result of the accident.
Back Injury - Moderate£12,510 to £38,780Loss of function and some disability, surgery may be required.
Back Injury - MinorUp to £12,510Less serious strains, sprains, soft tissue and disk injury, to injuries with short term pain and full recovery expected given some time.
Arm Injury - Severe£96,160 to £130,930

Severe disability and total loss of use of one or both arms up to amputation of one or both arms.
Arm Injury - Less Severe£19,200 to £39,170Loss of movement in one or both arms or serious breaks or fractures resulting in restricted use.
Wrist Injury -– Severe £47,620 to £59,860Significant disability or complete loss of use of one or both wrists.
Wrist Injury - Minor£6,080 to £10,350Soft tissue injury with full recovery, to fractures or breaks taking longer to heal.
Shoulder Injury - Severe£19,200 to £48,030Limited or no movement and possible permanent disability.
Shoulder Injury - Moderate£7,890 to £12,770

Frozen shoulder and limited movement with pain and discomfort. Soft tissue injuries as well restricting movement. Disability not permanent and recovery expected within two years.
Shoulder Injury - Minor£4,350 to £7,890Soft tissue injuries with pain and discomfort but full recovery within two years.

It is important to point out that these values are averages that have been awarded in previous compensation claims and there is no guarantee that you will be awarded the same, as previously stated, each case is unique and so therefore if successful, you could be awarded more or less than those amounts above.

Claim Compensation On A No Win No Fee Basis

Legal Helpline offers a No Win No Fee service. No Win No Fee is a service whereby if we were to take on your case for you and we lost, you would not be required to pay any legal costs at all. If we won, however, we would simply take our fees as a small percentage on your compensation claim award. Using our No Win No Fee service is really beneficial for our clients as we do not ask for any payments upfront or during the claiming process and so they do not need to worry about the financial aspect of hiring a law firm. If and when we win their case, any legal fees will be included in and covered by their compensation amount paid out to them.

Make A Claim Today

If you’d like further help and advice, or you’d like Legal Helpline to represent you in your supermarket accident compensation claim, then just give us a call on 0161 696 9685. Your call will be answered by a member of our team who will be happy to help.

Useful Links On Personal Injury Claims

Retailers Health & Safety advice

This is the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) site which gives lots of information regarding health and safety in the retail industry and what is expected by the retail companies.

Slips and trips in retail

The HSE guide to retail slip, trip and fall accidents, what may cause them and steps that should be taken to prevent them from happening.

Holiday Accident Abroad Compensation Claim

Did you injure yourself in a supermarket on holiday? Read our guide to claiming after receiving an injury whilst abroad.

Nerve Injury Compensation

If you suffered nerve damage following your supermarket accident, our guide provides more detail on that specific injury. 

Arm Injury Claims 

Our guide could help you understand the specifics of claiming for an arm injury after an accident at a supermarket.

Stuck In A Lift At Work Claims

As a supermarket employee, you may be required to use a lift to move stock and other items. Find out if you could make a claim for being stuck in one.

Elbow Injury Claims

A possible injury that could be sustained in a supermarket.

If you need any more help making a claim for an accident in a supermarket, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.