Spillage injury claims

Introduction

Updated: October 8, 2018

According to the Health and Safety Executive, slips and trips are the most common causes of accidents at work.

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Members of the public visiting shops, cafes or other commercial premises can also be injured because of slipping on a spillage.

Oil spills are also a cause of road traffic accident claims, particularly motorcycle accident claims. Department of Transport figures suggest that motorcyclists are twice as likely to be seriously hurt by diesel spillages on the road than other road users.

Chemical spillage outside

Identifying who is responsible for a spillage

At work

The party responsible for a spillage accident is dependent on the location and circumstances of what has happened. If you have been injured as the result of a spill at work, your employer may be responsible.

This is particularly relevant if the employer has failed to follow health and safety procedures, such as responding promptly to reports of a hazard.

In public

If your injury occurred while you were visiting commercial premises, the organisation responsible for those premises may be to blame for what has happened.

For example, if you slipped in a supermarket, the owner of the shop could be at fault. This is more likely to be the case if the people in charge have failed to erect warning signs around an area that is being cleaned, or to promptly eradicate spillages caused by other factors.

On the road

If you have been in a road accident as the result of an oil spill, another road user could be responsible. If you are not able to identify the road user, compensation can be claimed through the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB).

It is also possible that local authorities can be held responsible for injuries caused by diesel spills, if it can be shown that they failed to clean the area to make it safe for road users.

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Do I have a claim for a spillage injury?

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In general, if you have been hurt as the result of an accident caused by another party, and that party owed you a duty of care, you can make an injury claim.

Spill-related accidents can present a challenge, however. It is not always clear who is responsible, either for the spill or for clearing it up, particularly if the accident occurs in a public place or on the road.

A solicitor will be able to confirm whether you have a strong claim, and will be able to advise you on your options for compensation, such as whether applying for compensation through the MIB would be a better route.

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Improving your chances of a successful claim

Whether the spill occurred on the road, in a shop or in the workplace, you can improve the likelihood of winning your claim by gathering as much evidence as possible.

  • If you are able, you should take a photograph of the spill at the scene of the accident, noting the time.
  • If you have been hurt because of an oil or diesel spill on the road, you should also report the details to the police.
  • If the incident occurred in a shop, you should ask for a written record to be noted in the accident book. This evidence could support an allegation that either the premises owner or occupier knew of the spill but failed to take prompt action to clean it up, or failed to carry out reasonably regular inspections.
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Calculate my spillage injury compensation

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The amount of compensation awarded to an injured Claimant is dependent on the nature of their injuries and the impact the injuries have had on the Claimant's life.

The circumstances of the accident do not, in most cases, have an impact on the amount awarded.

Contributory negligence

Rarely, an awarded for compensation may be reduced if the injured Claimant was partly responsible for their accident. Inappropriate footwear is commonly cited by Defendants' solicitors in such cases.

Whether the footwear is inappropriate will depend on the circumstances. For example, a supermarket may argue that a Claimant is partly responsible for their injuries if they were wearing high heels when they slipped. This is unlikely to be accepted by a Court, as it is entirely foreseeable that high heels may be worn in a supermarket.

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How does No Win, No Fee work for spillage accident claims?

A No Win, No Fee claim is begun after a Claimant signs, with their chosen lawyer, a "CFA", or Conditional Fee Agreement,.

The document explains the service the solicitor handling your case will provide and the success fee that will be deducted from your damages after the injury lawyer wins your case.

There will be no hidden fees using a Quittance injury-specialist solicitor. You are able to prioritise your rest and recovery, knowing that there is absolutely nothing to pay if your case is unsuccessful.

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Meet our team

The nationwide panel of Quittance solicitors help injured people with all types of industrial disease claims, from less-severe claims to serious, long-term injury. Chosen on the basis of their success rate in winning claims, QLS's solicitors have years of dedicated experience recovering compensation for their clients.

Meet more of the Quittance team: click here.

Kevin Walker Serious Injury Panel Solicitor
Tim Fieldhouse Industrial Disease Panel Solicitor
Shahida Chaudery Complex Injury Claims Panel Solicitor
Paul Carvis, Personal injury solicitor

About the author

Paul is a member of the Law Society Personal Injury Panel, a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, and has served as a Deputy District Judge, giving him a uniquely broad understanding of the claims process.

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