Supermarkets have a legal and moral responsibility to keep you safe while you’re shopping. If you suffer an injury due to a slip and fall accident while buying groceries, you can — and should — hold the business accountable.
Here, we’ll outline:
- Common supermarket hazards that may result in a slip and fall.
- Compensation limitations for a supermarket accident claim.
- How to increase your chances of winning a slip and fall claim.
- When to contact a slip and fall injury lawyer.
- And more.
Supermarket slip and fall injury claims
Supermarket slip and falls are considered a public liability. For a claim to fall under this category, it means that you or someone else has been injured on a public business’ premises, usually due to the owner’s negligence.
Negligence for public liability claims may include things like failing to clean spills in a timely manner or place wet floor signs down after mopping. Wet floors are not the only hazard that is prevalent in supermarkets, however, they’re one of the most common causes of slip and fall injuries.
Common slip and fall hazards
There are many other common hazards that, if left unattended to, could result in a slip and fall that causes serious injury. A few examples of those common hazards are:
- Damaged or uneven flooring.
- Sticky, wet or greasy floors.
- Water build-up in fresh departments.
- Loose mats.
- Inadequate lighting.
- Displaced or broken products.
- Missing warning or wet floor signs when a hazard is present.
What is the average payout for a slip and fall claim
It’s difficult to determine an average payout for slip and fall claims because the amount ultimately depends on a number of different factors. That said, a recent client of ours who suffered an injury after tripping over an unseen wet floor sign was awarded $120,000.
In another case, a client received a $100,00 payout after a slip and fall incident at a shopping centre. Another woman, who slipped and fell at a fruit and vegetable shop, was compensated with $155,000.
With these examples, it’s clear to see how much public liability payouts can vary.
How long do you have to file a slip and fall claim?
In most cases, slip and fall supermarket injury claims will be settled out of court, and can take anywhere between 6 and 12 months. However, if an agreement cannot be reached between parties and it must be brought before a judge, you should expect it to take considerably longer — between 12 and 18 months.
Nevertheless, a slip and fall injury claim in every state must be made within three years of the accident or, in some cases, within three years from the time your injury becomes apparent if it hadn’t already been at the time of your fall.
Winning a slip and fall claim
Securing a slip and fall compensation claim isn’t as simple as pointing a finger.
For a claim to have the greatest possible chance at success, you’ll need to provide tangible proof. Due to the somewhat complex nature of these claims, it’s important that you involve a professional personal injury lawyer to help you build the strongest case possible.
Here are a few things that you should gather if you’ve suffered a slip and fall in a supermarket:
- Photographs: Take photos of any visible injuries, the scene of the accident and, if you can, even the hazard that caused the accident.
- CCTV footage: If you’re able, you should ask an employee at the facility to provide any footage of the accident. If they give you any trouble, your lawyers will be able to help collect this.
- Eyewitnesses: If someone was around to see the accident happen, make sure you get their contact information, as their input may help prove your case.
- Notes: As soon as possible, it’s best practice to write down anything you can remember that may be pertinent to the case.
- A doctor’s note: If your injuries are severe, or bad enough to keep you from working for any length of time, you should get assessed by a medical professional. Be sure to keep the note that they give you, which documents your diagnosis.
It’s important to keep a record of any lost wages due to your inability to work and medical expenses incurred as a result of your injury. In some cases, these items can be reimbursed to you if your claim is won.
Personal injury claim process
Unfortunately, without adequate proof, a slip and fall public liability claim is often a “he said, she said” type of scenario. This is why it’s of utmost importance to seek legal counsel, so you know how to best proceed with your supermarket accident case and the pertinent information you’ll need to gather.
In general, to make a successful supermarket accident compensation claim, you need to:
- Prove that the supermarket staff or owners were aware of the hazard, and chose not to rectify it or neglected to rectify it in a timely manner.
- Prove that your injury could have been avoided completely if responsibility was taken on the part of the supermarket.
- Be able to show any losses suffered, such as medical bills or lost wages.
Gerard Malouf & Partners: Your slip and fall lawyers
Slip and fall injuries can cause serious damage — physically, mentally and emotionally. If you’ve suffered as the result of negligence in a supermarket or other public place, you may be eligible for compensation.
Our supermarket accident lawyers at Gerard Malouf & Partners (GMP Law) can help you gather all the information and evidence you need to build the strongest case possible — so that you can focus on recovering. We offer a no win, no fee policy so you can rest easy knowing that you won’t pay any legal fees until we’ve won your case.
Contact us today for a no obligation consultation and free legal advice about your unique case.