A Guide to Claiming Spillage Injury Compensation

This guide sets out what you need to know about making a spillage accident compensation claim.

Introduction

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

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.

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.

Do I have a spillage injury claim?

You should be eligible to make a spillage injury claim if you were injured:

  • within the last three years and,
  • another person was to blame.

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

It only takes a minute to find out - speak to a legal expert on 0800 612 7456.

A brief phone consultation will confirm whether you have a claim. We will not put you under pressure to make a compensation claim.

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

What if it was a criminal incident?

If your Spillage Injury injury resulted from a criminal incident, you can pursue a claim via the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA must receive your application within 2 years of the Incident Date.

Read more

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 a spillage injury claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

Check my claim online

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.

How much compensation can I claim for a spillage injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your spillage 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 spillage 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.

See a list of what you can claim for:

Examples of special damages include:

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

Find out what your claim could be worth now

Assessing a claim's value at the outset can be complicated.

If you would like a FREE claim estimate with no obligation to start a claim, call 0800 612 7456.

Alternatively, our compensation calculator will give you an instant estimate of what your claim is worth.

Calculate my injury claim

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your spillage injury case 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.

How did your injury occur?

The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:

At work

If you are thinking of making a work accident or injury claim, there are some key points to be aware of:

Work Accident Claims - What you need to know

In a public place (e.g. supermarket, pavement)

If you have been injured in a public place, there are some key points you need to be aware of:

Public Place Claims - What you need to know

Other claim types

Find details on another type of claim:

See list of other claims

No win, no fee, no risk

No Win, No Fee is an agreement with your solicitor (known as a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA) that means that you can make a spillage injury claim with:

  • no upfront legal fees
  • no solicitor's fees payable if your claim is not successful
  • a success fee payable only if your claim is successful

No Win, No Fee is the most common way to make a compensation claim.

No win, no fee guarantee

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero financial risk in making a spillage injury claim - even if you don't win your claim.

What do I pay if I win my spillage injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, once your claim is settled. 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 spillage injury claim?

If your spillage injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees at all.

Read more about No win, no fee

How can Quittance help?

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

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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Spillage 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 will my claim take?

The length of time needed to secure compensation can vary considerably.

For example, straightforward car accident claims can settle in a matter of weeks, whereas complex medical negligence cases can take years.

Injury claims can also take longer if it is not clear who is responsible for your injury, or if liability is denied by the defendant.

Taken from average case times, this table sets out approximately how long personal injury claims take to settle:

Personal injury claim type

Estimated claim duration*

Road accident claims

4 to 9 months

Work accident claims

6 to 9 months

Medical negligence claims

12 to 36 months

Industrial disease claims

12 to 18 months

Public place or occupiers’ liability claims

6 to 9 months

MIB claims (uninsured drivers)

3 to 4 months**

CICA claims (criminal assault)

12 to 18 months**

*RTA and other claims processed through the Ministry of Justice portal can settle faster.
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.

Read more about how long personal injury claims take.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by Quittance’s 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 interim compensation payment?

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

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.

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

About the author

Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert