Suing For A Fall In A Shop

Suing For A Fall In A Shop



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Customer Sues After Falling Over A Pallet


A client was hurt after falling over a pallet of goods waiting to be stacked on a display rack. The pallet had been left lying near the checkout area of the store. Mrs T tripped after not seeing the edge of the pallet, as she was carrying heavy shopping bags and chatting to a friend at the time of the accident. She sustained lacerations and bruising to her leg from falling onto the pallet, as well as torn muscles in her shoulder. The companion with whom she was shopping reported the accident to the shop staff, and Mrs T was later taken to hospital, where one of the cuts on her leg required stitches, she was ordered to rest for a week while her strained muscles healed. She subsequently required private physiotherapy treatment, and did not regain full mobility in her upper arm and shoulder for 6 weeks, while the scar left by the cut on her leg did not fade for months afterwards.

After reading about our experience of claims against the major retail groups Mrs T instructed us to sue the shop for her fall. The legal basis for Mrs T’s claim was, essentially, that the pallet of products should not have been left lying in the path of customers approaching the store’s checkout, as it was otherwise entirely foreseeable that a shopper would trip over it and injure themselves. This meant the store was in breach of the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, as it had failed in its duty to keep Mrs T reasonably safe while visiting the premises. Within 6 months of starting her claim with our firm, the shop’s legal representatives admitted partial liability for Mrs T’s injuries, and she later received a cheque for £3,250 in personal injury compensation.

Customer Sues For Compensation After A Fall In The Frozen Goods Aisle


Mrs O was out shopping with her granddaughter when she slipped and fell on a spillage in a shop's frozen goods aisle. She was in considerable pain and could not get up, so her granddaughter called for assistance. Store staff came to help, called an ambulance, and the supervisor recorded the incident in the shop’s accident book. Mrs O was taken to hospital where it was found that she had torn ligaments in one knee, and had sustained further soft tissue damage in her ankle. Mrs O was discharged the following day, but is still experiencing mobility difficulties 3 months later, and her doctors say that a residual weakness in her knee is likely to affect her for life.

Mrs O contacted Bartletts Solicitors for advice on suing the shop for her fall. We advised her to proceed with a claim, on the basis that, whatever the cause of the spillage, the retailer's aisle had been slippery at the time, and it was reasonably foreseeable that a customer could slip and injure themselves. Because the accident had been recorded by the shop at the time, there was little doubt as to the circumstances. The retailer accepted liability for the accident, and Mrs O received £6,500 compensation for her injuries.

Shopper Sues After Falling On Slippery Shop Floor


A client was out shopping with her family, when she slipped on a pool of slush that had been trampled into the shop by previous customers. She fell backwards, landing on her buttocks, and jarring her upper body, causing strains and partial tears to tendons and ligaments in her lower back. Despite the fact that it was snowing outside at the time, and freezing conditions had set in the day before, the shop had taken no action to deal with the slush being trampled inside, apart from mopping the entrance periodically. Her son had the presence of mind to take photos of the pool of slush on his mobile phone, and the incident was also recorded in the shop’s accident book, though the manager refused to accept responsibility for the accident, saying the shop was not responsible for the hazardous weather conditions.

The following day our client realised she had been quite badly hurt in the accident, and got in touch with Bartletts Solicitors to ask; can I sue for falling on a slippery shop floor? We later represented her in a claim against the shop’s owners, and made contact with them, arguing that, under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, they had a legal duty to ensure that their premises was reasonably safe for visitors. The measures they had taken to deal with slush being trampled into the shop were insufficient, as the floor quickly became slippery again after it had been mopped and dried, with customers continually entering and leaving the shop. Given that there was no effective means for visitors to dry snow off their shoes, it was reasonably foreseeable that such an accident would occur. The shop’s insurers admitted liability for our client's injuries, and she later received £2,750 in compensation.

Shopper Broke Wrist And Concussed After Falling Down Stairs


A client was badly injured after he fell down a short flight of stairs at a shopping centre. Mr F tripped over a piece of frayed carpeting at the top of the stairs and fell forwards, breaking his wrist and sustaining a concussion. An ambulance was called by a shop attendant who had witnessed the accident, and Mr F was taken to hospital where a splint was applied to his wrist, and he was kept in overnight for observation of his head injury. The bones in Mr F’s wrist took over 4 months to set properly, and he experienced considerable physical difficulties during that time. Mr F later returned to the shopping centre to complain, however the frayed carpeting had by then been repaired, and the owners of the premises refused to accept responsibility for the accident. Due to the severity of his injuries, and the lack of response to his complaint, Mr F decided to seek a legal opinion.

Having discussed his case with Bartletts Solicitors, and based on our advice, Mr F instructed us to begin a no win no fee personal injury compensation claim against the owners of the shopping centre. We were able to obtain CCTV footage of the accident, and this showed our client tripping on a section of carpeting that was clearly in a defective and hazardous state. We also presented the shopping centre’s insurers with 2 witness statements. By failing to ensure that the carpeting at the top of the stairs was in a safe state the shopping centre had failed in the duty of care they owed Mr F as a lawful visitor to their premises, and this amounted to negligence. After a few months of correspondence we were able to gain an admission of liability from the shopping centre’s owners, and negotiate a compensation settlement with their insurers totalling £3,500.

Lady Compensated After Tripping On Shop Step


Mrs C was out shopping with her daughter when she was injured through no fault of her own, and was later able to claim personal injury compensation. As Mrs C was leaving one store, her foot became caught on frayed carpeting covering a step down towards the exit, and she tripped and fell forwards onto the floor. Mrs C damaged her hip and ankle in the accident, and was in a state of shock immediately afterwards. Her daughter drove her to hospital having reported the accident to the shop’s manager, and having ensured that the details were recorded in their accident book. She had also had the presence of mind to take photographs of the worn carpeting on her mobile phone, an important measure given that the shop replaced the frayed material on the step the day after the incident. Mrs C was troubled by pain, discomfort and limited mobility for an extended period due to her injuries, and on the advice of her husband, decided to seek a legal opinion.

Mrs C contacted Bartletts Solicitors’ personal injury team having read about our experience of accidents in shops, and later instructed us to proceed with a no win no fee compensation claim. We wrote the shop’s owners, laying out our client’s case, and making the central point that her injuries were directly caused by the unsafe state of the shop premises at the time she was visiting. The shop’s insurance company initially denied liability for the incident, stating that our client has obviously not been paying attention as she was leaving the store. However, the shop’s accident book showed that another customer had tripped on the shop step 2 weeks prior to Mrs C’s accident, and had complained to staff about the problem, yet in spite of this, no action had been taken to either repair the frayed carpeting, or to warn or deter customers from walking over it. After a few months of correspondence we won an admission of liability from the shop’s insurers, and within 6 months of starting her claim, Mrs C received a cheque for £2,500 in compensation.

Accident Caused By Christmas Decorations


Ms H was shopping in a high street department store, when she tripped over a trailing electric cable that was being used to power Christmas lights. The store’s staff had changed the display earlier in the day, and had left it set up with the main power cable lying across an aisle in the direct path of customers. Ms H fell awkwardly, spraining her wrist and badly bruising her arm. She received basic medical attention at the scene, and was driven to hospital for an X-ray, after which a wrist brace with splint was applied by a doctor. Ms H worked as a school dinner lady, and was unable to return to work for 2 weeks following her injury. She continued to experience aching and weakness in the joint over 3 months later.

Ms H got in touch with Bartletts Solicitors on the recommendation of a friend, and we advised her that she had a legitimate claim against the department store where the accident took place. We represented her on a no win no fee basis, and wrote to the store’s parent company, pointing out that is was their legal responsibility to keep public areas of their shops free from obstacles and obstructions, in this case the trailing electric cable, which could cause accidents. In this instance, staff at the store had acted negligently by leaving the power cable directly in the path of Ms H, and this had directly caused her to trip, fall and injure herself. After a few months of correspondence, we won an admission of liability from the store and their insurers, and Ms later received £3,000 in compensation for her injuries.

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