Supermarket Injury Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a by an injury sustained in a supermarket or other retail premises, we can help.
Whether your injuries were caused by a slip or trip, fall or other incident, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor
You can make a compensation claim for an accident in a public place with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
Your solicitor will ask you about how the accident happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will then identify who is legally responsible. Based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses they will also work out how much money you can claim.
We can help you make an public place accident claim, on a No Win No Fee basis.
In this article
Do I have an injury claim?
You should be eligible to make an injury claim if your injury occurred:
- in the last 3 years, and;
- someone else was at fault, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Injury claim eligibility - Common questions
What if a child was injured?
The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.
A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start an injury claim on their own behalf.
What if there is no evidence?
Evidence can take the form of eyewitness accounts, CCTV footage, photographs etc. It will be difficult to win a supermarket injury claim with no evidence at all. You may feel that there is no evidence but a solictor may well be able to assist in collating evidence that you, as a claimant, were unaware of.
How common are supermarket injuries?
Thousands of customers and staff are injured in shops and supermarkets every year. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), a significant number of these are slip and trip injuries on wet floors and spillages.
Common supermarket injuries include:
- cuts and bruises
- torn ligaments
- broken and fractured bones
- head injuries
If your accident was caused by negligence on the part of a supermarket or member of staff, you may be able to claim financial compensation.
Supermarkets owe you a legal duty of care
Supermarkets have a legal responsibility (duty of care) to keep customers safe from harm by taking all reasonable steps to prevent accidents on their premises.
This duty of care falls under the Occupiers' Liability Act 1957, which states that supermarkets must:
'...take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that the visitor will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the purposes for which he is invited or permitted by the occupier to be there.'
As employers, supermarkets have a duty of care to keep their staff safe from harm.
This legal responsibility is covered by a range of legislation, primarily the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
This Act requires all employers to:
- Keep the workplace clean, tidy and safe.
- Provide you with suitable tools and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), to enable you to do your job safely.
- Ensure you are fully trained to safely do your job. You should also be fully trained in the use of tools, equipment and PPE.
How do these responsibilities work in practice?
Supermarkets must carry out regular risk assessments to identify possible dangers to both customers and staff.
Following the risk assessment, the supermarket must implement sufficient health and safety measures to prevent injuries occurring.
Some of the most common preventable hazards in supermarkets include:
- Wet floors - caused by weather, cleaning products or leaking freezers and chillers
- Spillages - from food and liquid products
- Items falling from shelves - due to incorrect placement
- Obstacles in aisles - such as stray trolleys or baskets as well as boxes, trays and roll cages used for stacking shelves
Supermarket employees are also at risk of injury from:
- Lifting heavy objects - without the right support or positioning
- Defective equipment or dangerous machinery - such as roll cages or lift trucks
- Poorly stacked goods - in a storeroom or unloading from a delivery van
As busy retail environments, supermarkets must have a system in place where floors, aisles and staff areas are regularly inspected, and hazards cleaned up or removed. If hazards cannot be dealt with immediately, suitable warning signs must be used to alert customers and staff. Alternatively, the area should be cordoned off.
If a supermarket fails to prevent you from suffering harm, the supermarket can be held liable.
If it can be established that the supermarket was negligent, a compensation claim should be possible.
The supermarket may argue that you were partly to blame and use ‘contributory negligence' as a defence. However, even if the supermarket can establish 'contributory negligence', a 'split-liability' agreement would still lead to a compensation settlement, albeit at a reduced rate.
What should I do after an accident in a supermarket?
If you, as a customer or member of staff, are involved in an accident, you should notify a member of the supermarket staff. The supermarket should record the incident in an accident book and administer any minor first aid required.
If possible, gather as much evidence as possible as this will be used to support your claim:
- Photographs of the scene
- Photographs of the injuries
- Witness details
- Store CCTV camera footage
Seeking medical attention for your injury is of paramount importance. Even if the injury is relatively minor, a visit to a GP or hospital will establish a medical record of the event.
What is the claim process?
At the start of a claim, your solicitor will:
- arrange for an independent medical assessment near your home
- work with you to gather any supporting evidence
- notify the supermarket's insurer of the claim
The supermarket will then either accepted or deny responsibility (liability) for your injury.
If liability is accepted:
If the supermarket accepts liability, the compensation amount will be negotiated and paid to you.
If liability is disputed or denied:
If the supermarket denies or disputes the claim, the process will take longer. When there has been an initial dispute or denial, claims are still usually resolved without going to court. Less than five per cent of claims go to court.
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.
Will the supermarket have insurance to cover my claim?
Yes. Supermarkets will have 'public liability' and 'employer's liability' insurance in place to cover any claims made against them.
The supermarket will liaise with their insurance company to work out what happened and decide who is liable.
If your accident occurred after the 31 July 2013, supermarkets and their insurers have 40 working days to admit or deny responsibility. This period is set out in the 'Pre-Action Protocol' for public liability personal injury claims.
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness 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 injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special 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 are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after an injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?
If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.
The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.
General damages for a serious ankle injury can be £35,000
For a more minor wrist injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £2,900.
However, if you have a serious ankle injury and a more minor wrist injury, you would typically receive £35,000 + a reduced percentage of £2,900.
Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries. Read more about multiple injury claims.
What is the average injury compensation for an 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 an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
Calculate my injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an 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 injury claim could be worth now:
How long does a supermarket injury claim take?
The time needed to get compensation for a supermarket accident varies.
A straightforward liability accepted claim might take a few months.
If the supermarket denies liability, the process might take significantly longer. Usually, a public place accident claim takes between 6 and 9 months.
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 at all. Known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA', no win, no fee is an agreement entered into between you and a solicitor.
No win, no fee - our guarantee
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero financial risk in making an injury claim, even if you don't win your claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee 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, only after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. Your solicitor will agree a success fee with you 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 will not have to pay any fees. 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.
Is there a catch?
The Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) sets out the terms between you and your solicitor., No Win No Fee is a regulated activity and as such there should be no nasty surprises in the agreement. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you read the agreement carefully and ask any questions if you are unsure.
How else can a solicitor help me?
Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.
Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and 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.
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 supermarket injury 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:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
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 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.
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.
If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.
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.
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.
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.
*Ward v Tesco  and Dawkins v Carnival Plc  are two example cases of this law being applied in practice.
Chris Salmon, Director
About the author
Chris Salmon is a co-founder and Director of Quittance Legal Services. Chris has played key roles in the shaping and scaling of a number of legal services brands and is a regular commentator in the legal press.