What Should You Do If You Fall and Injure Yourself in a Supermarket

Published 18 Feb 2018

Whether you shop at Redlynch or Runcorn, we have all been to the supermarket and seen lettuce leave or grapes lying on the floor in the fresh food area, a streak of sauce or liquid in the isle, or seen that yogurt tub dropped and split spilling its contents on the floor.

But what happens if you don’t see the spillage, and you slip and fall on to the hard supermarket floor, injuring yourself in the process.

Of course, if you are so severely injured that you need an ambulance, just go with the flow. You might be concerned that the supermarket was at fault for causing your fall and wish to make a complaint or have your version of events recorded in the accident report. However, a skilled and experienced lawyer will still be able to succeed in bringing a claim on your behalf, so your main concern after a very serious fall should be your health.

Where you have a fall causing injury, but not one that requires emergency assistance, there are a number of things you should do.

Firstly, call over your nearest supermarket store attendant and draw their attention to the spillage. Look at the person’s name tag, and make a note of it in your phone. While your phone is out, photograph the spillage where you fell, and any other patches of sauce, oil or other liquid that you fell on that might be nearby. If there is a streak of spillage a long way up the isle, footprints or trolley marks through the spillage, photograph that as well.

 If it is not immediately apparent to you, try to work out what the spillage is (by sight, smell and/or touch). If some of the spillage is now on your clothing, take a photograph of where that contaminant is.

Offer to complete any incident or accident form that the supermarket might use to record the event. Keep any version of events very simple (e.g.  I was looking at the shelf to choose which sauce to buy and I felt my foot slip out from underneath me. After I had fallen I noticed that the floor had water on it). An incident form is not a place to get to the bottom of what led to your fall – it is sufficient to record when and where the fall occurred, and the substance upon which you fell. The last thing to do as you leave the supermarket is make a request that CCTV footage be kept of the fall, and for the 30 minutes prior.

You might need to be in the store for 10 minutes after your fall, but that effort may be useful in the course of your later claim. Finally, when you attend upon your doctor for treatment or a medical certificate for time off work, make sure that you mention all of your injuries. It if often the case that the knee you struck on the floor overshadows the strain you suffered in your back when your leg slipped out from underneath you, but in the long term you won’t know which is the more serious injury and it is useful to have a timely report of injury to your doctor.

There will always be spills in supermarkets and shopping centres, including because careless or absent minded shoppers make the floor slippery.  Supermarkets and shopping centres are aware of that, and are required by law to have in place a reasonable system to clean up in a timely way and to otherwise minimise the risk posed to customers doing their shopping. Most don’t, and timely advice from a lawyer will typically result in a successful claim.

At Gerard Malouf and Partners Compensation Lawyers we have assisted thousands of injured people in your positio. So feel free to contact Gerard Malouf and Partners Compensation Lawyers for a no obligation discussion of your circumstances by calling 1800 004 878 or complete our email enquiry form on the website.