Retail Worker Injury Compensation Claims

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

If your injuries were caused by your employer or a co-worker, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor

You can make a work accident compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses. By law, your employer will have insurance to cover the cost of injury claims, and your compensation will be paid out of this policy.

We can help you make a work accident claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

In this article

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 a single year, 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.

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.

Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022

The Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 came into force on 6 April 2022.

This legislation means that employers have an obligation to provide free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all workers, including workers who are self-employed or on a zero-hours contract.

Under the previous 1992 regulations, employers were only required to provide PPE to employees with a formal employment contract.

If you are injured at work and your employer failed to provide you with suitable PPE, you may be entitled to claim compensation - even if you are self-employed.

Do I have an injury claim?

It should be possible to make an injury claim if you were injured:

  • in the last 3 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 376 1001.

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

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.

Less than 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 decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.

Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.

Read more:

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

What if the retail worker injury happened abroad?

Making a claim for a retail worker injury abroad can be more complicated. Any number of factors can affect the best way to go about making a claim. These include whether it was a package holiday, which country you were in and your insurance position. Please call us for more information.

No win, no fee

'No win, no fee' means that if your 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 was not your fault, we can help you make a no win, no fee injury compensation claim.

What do I pay if I win my 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 injury claim?

If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

How we can help you

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and 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
  • 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday

Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:

Call me back
  • Tick icon FREE consultation
  • Tick icon Find out if you can claim
  • Tick icon No obligation to start a claim

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:

Claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.

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:

Claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make an injury claim?

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

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

Can I claim for an 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 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.

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

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.

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?

I need the money now - what are my options?

If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.

Read more:

How to I get an interim compensation payment?

Helen Goddard, Legal researcher

Author:
Helen Goddard, Legal researcher