A Guide to Claiming Retail Worker Injury Compensation

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an injury at work we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered an injury at work and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

Introduction

Retail should be a relatively safe sector in which to work, but an employer's negligence can still expose workers to a wide range of hazards, such as wet floors, heavy stock loads, trolleys and packaging left in shop aisles and poorly maintained equipment.

In 2014, 45% of retailers faced a compensation claim from an employee who was injured in the course of carrying out their duties.

Slips, trips and falls and manual handling accidents are the most common types of accidents that happen in shops and supermarkets. However, there are also a relatively high number of accidents involving falling objects, moving vehicles and machinery.

Any member of retail staff who is injured in a shop or supermarket accident may be eligible to make a claim for compensation. This is a type of work accident claim brought against the owner of the retail outlet and their insurance company.

Do I have a retail worker injury claim?

It should be possible to make a retail worker injury claim if you were injured:

  • in the last three years and;
  • someone else was to blame.

Even if these two points don't apply to you, you may still be able to make a claim.

To find out for sure, speak to a legally trained adviser on 0800 612 7456.

A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.

You can also find out if you have a claim with our Online Claim Checker.

How much compensation can I claim for a retail worker injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your retail worker injury will depend on:

  • the extent of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your retail worker injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after a retail worker injury? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

What is the average injury compensation for a retail worker injury claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following a retail worker injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your retail worker injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

See the injury table above for some examples.

Can I get an interim payment?

Interim payments are effectively an advance on a probable compensation award. An interim payment may be awarded if the claimant is in immediate financial hardship.

Retail worker injury compensation calculator

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a retail worker injury can be complicated.

Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

Find out what your retail worker injury claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a retail staff injury claim take?

The length of time needed to process a retail staff injured at work claim can vary significantly.

If your employer does not contest the claim, it could be settled in several weeks. If the employer denies liability, a compensation claim can take substantially longer. Normally a work accident claim will take 6 to 9 months. For more information, see:

How long will my claim take?

Will I still be able to claim for a retail worker injury after the law changes in April 2020?

The law relating to personal injury claims is changing in April 2020.

You will no longer be able to claim no win, no fee compensation using a solicitor for lower value claims (under £5,000).

In addition, compensation for whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries will be reduced.

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your retail worker injury claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

Common accidents affecting retail staff

Quittance's solicitors have assisted in a wide range of claims on behalf of retail workers. Some of the most common preventable accidents in the retail sector are set out below.

Slips, trips and falls

Large stores and supermarkets in particular are at risk of spillages, breakages and obstacles in the aisles, delivery bays and overfilled stockrooms. Slip, trip and fall accidents may occur if those hazards are not quickly identified and removed.

Retail operators are expected to put in place a system for the regular inspection and clearing of floor surfaces, both in store and in staff-only areas. Where hazards cannot be dealt with immediately, warning signs must be used to alert staff of the danger. Failure to follow these measures may expose the employer to a personal injury claim.

Lifting and manual handling accidents

Items for sale may be bulky, heavy and difficult to carry. Lifting these items may lead to back injury, neck injury or injuries to arms and legs. Supermarket shelf stackers are at particular risk, particularly if they have not received adequate training or have been asked to lift inappropriately heavy objects.

Manually lifting heavy objects should be avoided wherever possible. Employers have a duty to risk assess the work task and provide suitable equipment to minimise the amount of manual handling involved. Where lifting cannot be avoided, training should be provided on the proper safety techniques.

Being hit by falling objects

Poorly stacked goods are at risk of falling from a supermarket shelf, display rack or stockroom, particularly while an employee is loading or unloading goods. Injuries can be quite serious, ranging from cuts and lacerations to broken bones and head trauma.

Retail operators must ensure that goods are safely stacked so that shelves do not become over-loaded, top-heavy or unstable. They must also train staff on the proper shelf stacking techniques.

Being hit by a moving vehicle

Over 5,000 reported accidents a year involve workplace transport, such as forklift truck accidents, according to figures from the Health and Safety Executive. Retail staff are at risk if they regularly access warehousing facilities, loading areas or delivery bays.

Employers have a duty to ensure that all vehicles used in the workplace are fit for purpose and in good repair. They must also ensure that staff are trained in the operation of the vehicle and that supervision is given where appropriate.

Defective equipment injuries

Retail stores and supermarkets often house potentially dangerous machinery such as meat slicers, bread slicers and bakery ovens. Dangerous machinery accidents can cause crush, laceration or amputation injuries, the consequences of which are recognised by the Courts as being severe and potentially life-altering.

Retail operators must ensure that machinery is regularly inspected, maintained and repaired and that staff are trained in its safe operation. Guards and automatic shut off mechanisms should be fitted wherever necessary to reduce the risk of injury.

Is the employer liable for retail staff injured at work?

All retail operators have a legal duty to protect their employees and customers against the risk of accident and injury.

A range of legislation, including the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, is in place to ensure that if an employer fails in this duty, the employee may be able to claim compensation if they suffer injury as a result.

No win, no fee

'No win, no fee' means that if your retail worker injury claim is not successful, you will not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA', no win, no fee is a legal contract entered into between you and a solicitor.

No win, no fee promise

If you have been injured and it wasn't your fault, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your retail worker injury.

What do I pay if I win my retail worker injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my retail worker injury claim?

If your retail worker injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever.

Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

How can Quittance help?

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning work accident claims.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Retail worker injury FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make a retail worker injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the retail worker injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your retail worker injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for a retail worker injury after 3 years?

Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.

However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.

There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim retail worker injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a retail worker injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

About the author

Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert