Shopping centre accident claims

Updated: October 8, 2018

Introduction

Many people visit shopping centres on a regular basis statistics show there are over 2.4 billion annual visits not only for shopping but for meeting friends, eating out, or watching a film. They are generally warm, dry and comfortable environments, but with such a high number of visitors there is a potential for accidents.

Supermarket trolley
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What are the most common accidents?

Slips, trips and falls wet floors or spillages; escalator falls; entrance door accidents all may cause injury to a visitor. Cuts from sharp edges or broken objects, or bumps from large machinery may be sustained. Centre fittings and promotional materials may fall on visitors.

The range of injuries may include:

  • Broken bones
  • Cuts
  • Whiplash
  • Concussion
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Who is responsible for visitor safety?

The Occupiers' Lliability Act 1957 states that an occupier of premises has a common duty of care to all his visitors to ensure that they are reasonably safe in using the premises for the purposes for which he is invited or permitted by the occupier to be there .

In the case of shopping centres, it is a centre's management who are considered to be the occupier and responsible for their visitors' health and safety.

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Do I have a claim for a shopping centre injury?

A Claimant sustaining an accident in a shopping centre may be able to bring a claim if it can be demonstrated that the centre was negligent in some way. To do so he will need supportive evidence.

Therefore anyone having an accident should:

  • Report the accident to a member of staff, who should assess the situation and record the incident in an accident book. Every shopping centre should have one of these.
  • Take the name and details any staff members who assisted after the accident.
  • Take the details of any witnesses; shopping centres are busy places so it is likely at least one person saw what happened.
  • Take photos of any visible injuries if possible.
  • Check to see if there may be any CCTV images of the accident.
  • Check the area to see if any hazard warning signs are in place for instance where there is a wet floor likely to be slippery.
  • Depending on the injuries sustained a Claimant should seek medical attention. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may not be immediately evident.
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What may be claimed?

Any compensation claim will take into account loss of earnings, expenses incurred as a result of the accident, and pain and suffering sustained.

However if a Claimant has contributed to his own injuries by ignoring warnings for example crossing a cordoned off area, or deliberately going the wrong way on an escalator any compensation may be reduced due to his contributory negligence.

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Is the claim always brought against the shopping centre management?

Although in many cases it may be clear that the accident was caused by the negligence of the shopping centre ( the occupier ), accidents may also be caused by independent contractors working on the maintenance of the area.

In these cases, providing the occupier has taken steps to satisfy himself that the contractor was competent, then the occupier may not be liable for that contractor's negligence.

Similarly, individual shops have a responsibility for their own premises, and may be liable for accidents occurring in their entrances.

Establishing who to bring a claim against may be complicated . . .

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Calculate my shopping centre injury compensation

The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our personal injury compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.

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Meet our team

The national panel of Quittance solicitors handle all types of personal injury claims, from relatively minor claims to life-changing injury. Our solicitors are selected for their track record in winning claims and their years of specialist experience.

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Kevin Walker Serious Injury Panel Solicitor
Emma Bell Employers and Public Liability Panel Solicitor
Shahida Chaudery Complex Injury Claims Panel Solicitor
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.

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