Client receives $180,000 for fall on Anzac day at local supermarket

Published 11 Jul 2018

On Anzac Day 2015, our client went shopping her at local supermarket.  As she walked passed the refrigerated display cabinets, she slipped heavily and fell to the floor. She landed heavily on her lower back suffering severe injuries to her lower spine and coccyx.

Our client was urgently transported to hospital by ambulance where X-Rays and MRI scans showed that she had suffered a severe injury, particularly to her coccyx.  She followed her doctor’s advice and initially managed her injuries with conservative treatment but eventually she underwent an operation.  That operation only went part of the way to relieving her condition and she eventually required further surgery.  Following that surgery she still required extensive treatment including the need to travel on a regular basis from her home on the North Coast to Sydney where the specialist treatment she required was available.

Due to her injuries our client continued to suffer severe symptoms which affected her independent living and her ability to do her own domestic chores and to hold on to her job.

As a result of her extreme pain and difficulties maintaining her independent lifestyle she contacted Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation Lawyers to find out whether she was able to make a claim for compensation.  We were able to assure her that we would undertake all of the necessary investigations in relation to how the injury occurred and how the fall had effected, not only from a medical point of view but in her ability to carry out an independent lifestyle and maintain employment.  As a result of her injuries, our client was off work for many months and when she returned to work, it took many more months before she was able to work fulltime.

The quality and details of the instructions we received and our investigations played a key role in this matter and we were able to address the strengths and weaknesses of our client’s case.  She was clearly entitled to maximum compensation.

The first point in many claims such as this is to know exactly what happened.  It became clear through our investigations that the supermarket was aware of the problem it faced in having a refrigerator cabinets in a very humid climate.  The humid climate and refrigerator meant that condensation regularly dripped from the refrigerated cabinet onto the floor.  Despite this the supermarket did not take adequate precautions to maintain the floor in a safe condition.

It became clear very early on that the insurance company would do whatever it could to avoid responsibility for what had happened to our client and this meant that the only way to obtain maximum compensation for our client was to commence proceedings in the District Court.  Once that had been done, the supermarket and its insurance company knew that we would fight hard for our client.  The insurance company agreed to commence negotiations to settle our client’s claim.   Eventually our client received $180,000.00 in compensation for the terrible pain and suffering she had gone through together with the cost of all of the treatment she received including the cost of travelling to obtain specialist treatment which was only available in Sydney.  The insurance company was also forced to provide compensation for the loss of income when our client was not able to work and compensation for the potential for future loss of income particularly as client would eventually find it extremely difficult to continue with her normal working life as she got older.

Our client was very pleased with the outcome of the case.  The compensation received was a recognition of how her life had change and how she would continue with her disabilities into the future.