A truck driver who seriously injured his hip after slipping and falling in a supermarket car park has been awarded more than $688,000 in compensation.
The man entered the partly subterranean car park on April 6 2014 after returning from shopping at a nearby Coles. The floor was completely covered with water following days of heavy rainfall, causing the plaintiff to slip and fall heavily onto his left side.
Prior to the slip and fall, the man had undergone a hip replacement operation. His injuries from the accident caused a peri-prosthetic hip fracture on the left side, which required a complete revision of the hip replacement.
Since the incident, the plaintiff is unable to sit down or walk for long periods, and he has given up motorcycling and rock fishing due to fears of falling over again.
The Civil Liability Act 2002 governs the rules by which compensation is awarded for slip, trip and fall accidents.
Plaintiffs must show the organisation had a duty of care and that this obligation was breached through negligence, leading to the injuries outlined in the claim.
To determine negligence, the judge must evaluate whether the risk that caused the accident was foreseeable, not insignificant and could have been prevented through reasonable action on the defendant’s behalf.
For this case, the supermarket was aware of the risk of slippery floors in the car park because the developer had specifically contacted the organisation about the issue.
Justice Stephen Campbell also ruled the risk was not insignificant and could have been mitigated by installing a non-slip pathway in the car park, as well as posting signage encouraging patrons to use the path after rainfall.
The plaintiff was awarded $688,071 for economic and non-economic losses.
The latter comprised a payment of $217,800 for the mental health problems the man suffered after the accident, including depression, anxiety and a loss of pleasure in activities he previously found enjoyable.
He also received $92,700 for past loss income, as well as $226,063 for expected future lost earnings because it is not yet clear whether he will be able to rejoin the workforce. The man was also awarded out-of-pocket expenses and past and future medical care costs.
Have you suffered a trip, slip or fall in a supermarket or other public area in NSW? Contact Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers to see whether you are entitled to damages for you injuries.