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.
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.
In our guide to claiming
retail worker injury compensation:
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.
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 376 1001.
A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.
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. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
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. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Can I get Legal Aid?
Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.
How can Quittance help?
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, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
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.
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.
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 376 1001 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.