Saracens Blog

Supermarket Sliiiiiiiiiiiiiip

Accident Injury SupermarketLast week at my local supermarket, whilst browsing through a colourful and interesting array of new fruits that had just arrived, I found myself reeling and the next thing I recall was grabbing onto a side shelf to stop myself from falling and sustaining an injury. I looked down to see what had caused me to slip and noticed that the floor seemed a little wet. Luckily the store wasn’t very busy at the time and I saved myself from a potentially embarrassing moment by avoiding a fall and a potentially serious injury.

As an accident injury lawyer, my immediate instinct was to look around and see whether there were any warning signs out on display. Surprisingly there were none. I immediately alerted the staff to clean up the hazard and thankfully no one was injured as a result of the wet patch. However many people are not as lucky as I was. Many clients of mine have suffered various bodily injuries from sprains to serious fractures of the limbs and back injuries, some with serious debilitating consequences.

Having an accident injury which was caused by slipping on a substance, liquid or item of fruit on a supermarket floor generally gives you grounds to make a claim for compensation. Whilst not every fall results in a compensation payment, here is some advice on what you should be aware of and the pitfalls to be avoided.

Supermarkets today stock a wide variety of products boasting aisles laden with various goods. There are many potential risks for the unsuspecting shopper. Spillages, stray trolleys, unstable shelving and heavy cages are also common hazards for members of the public and staff.

Assessing Risk

By law, a Supermarket must make sure that anyone who goes into their store is kept reasonably safe. They manage potential hazards by preparing risk assessments.  If you have suffered an accident injury, I normally ask the supermarket to show me their risk assessment documents. This how I check if they have taken all proper steps to control those risks in accordance with health and safety law.

When I make an assessment, I try to imagine all the different types of store user including children, adults, persons with disabilities, those using walking aids, the vulnerable and the elderly. I try to put myself in their shoes and view life from their perspective.

There are many risks in a store to consider, some obvious, some not so obvious. For example, mats should be provided at entrances, so in wet or damp weather, people who enter the store aren’t creating a slipping risk for others.  If the floor is wet from rain or spillage, there should be clear and visible “caution – wet floor” signs to alert shoppers to the danger.  Cleaning schedules should be maintained to show that the floor is kept clean.

Generally, most supermarkets do maintain good records and cleaning schedules.  Early access to these after you have suffered an injury is vital to assess whether the accident could have been avoided.  The store is very likely to be held responsible if they knew there was a hazard and they did not take suitable steps to stop it from occurring. Early disclosure and photographs are essential to any accident injury claim. Lack of documentary evidence can mean a failed claim.

If you suffer an accident injury – What do you do?

Despite the best of endeavours by a Supermarket store to keep the place safe, when an accident does occur, we recommend the following:

  1. Remember that above all else, your safety is paramount.
  2. Take prompt action.
  3. Staff will be at hand and you should ask for a first aider to help you.
  4. If the injury is serious, ask the store to call you an ambulance.
  5. If there is a suspected fracture, head or back injury, do not under any circumstances move.
  6. If anyone saw the accident, write down their name telephone number and address.
  7. Take a photograph of where you fell if you can.
  8. Ask the Store Manager or the member of staff for the Accident report book.
  9. Follow up with the Supermarket store after the accident and find out if they have sent off the accident injury report to head office.

At Saracens, we have many years of expertise in this area of law and have successfully settled claims where there has been an accident injury at a supermarket.

If you have had an accident injury in a Supermarket or want to share your experience of what happened to you when you fell in a store or injured in any other way write to us here.  We will offer you a free consultation and advise you on your rights.

Minal Popat

Personal Injury Department

Saracens Solicitors

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8 Responses to “Supermarket Sliiiiiiiiiiiiiip”
  1. Hermann
    01.17.2013

    My partner had an accident at Sainsbury’s supermarket recently.There’s this young lady who served us and when she took out for us to look at the toaster, She carelessly took it out too fast causing it to dropped onto my partners foot. She said sorry and continue to show the product.

    The next day, my partner’s foot swelled and causing a lot of agony. I called and spoke to the manager but was told they have done everything according to the law and the rules are at the front entrance for all customers to read before coming in. What can we do now please?

    • 01.17.2013

      Dear Hermann,
      I am sorry to hear about your partner’s accident. I note that you called the manager the next day. Was it reported in the Accident Report Book? Usually, the manager or a member of staff will be able to complete this. you should check with the store and confirm that this has been done. In this case, Sainsburys are liable for the negligent acts and ommissions of their employees. It seems as though the lady who was serving, was arguably not taking sufficient care when taking the toaster out. I would suggest that medical attention is sought in relation to the injury if this has not been done already. You can contact me at Saracens on 0203 5883500 or email me on mpopat@saracenssolicitors.co.uk if you want to pursue the claim.

  2. Mala
    01.17.2013

    I fell down on the floor in tesco. Am I entittled to compensation? I spent 200 quids for medical and taken 2 days off work. I still got the receipts.

    • 01.17.2013

      Dear Mala,
      Thank you for your enquiry. I would need more detail from you before I can advise wether you would be entitled to make a claim. I would need to know for example, what precisely made you fall. If it was water/liquid or a substance, how much was there, or was it some obstruction that made you fall? You would have to show that Tesco were negligent and they did something wrong to cause your fall. I would be happy to discuss your case with you. I can be contacted on 0203 588 3500 or by email on mpopat@saracenssolicitors.co.uk

  3. Prakseda
    01.17.2013

    hi, on monday ,a terrible thing happened and before i knew it i was on the floor hurting. the man pushing the trolleys hit me! it was very painful. he apologised but i am still very angry. it is still painful today. what should i do?

    • 01.17.2013

      Dear Prakseda,
      I am sorry to hear about your injury. You refer to the “man pushing the trolleys” so I assume you mean a staff member allocated this task, at the premises you were in. I would ask if you reported the incident and whether you sought medical attention. If you can show that a staff member was not looking where they were going and negligent there is a good chance you may be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries. You can contact me on 0203 588 3500 or by email on mpopat@saracenssolicitors.co.uk for further advice and assistance.

  4. Griffin
    01.18.2013

    I hurt my back after falling at Tawana oriental supermarket on Chepstow rd. There was an oily patch where i fell and someone later came to clean.

    I was disgusted at the way it was handled. never again will i step into that place ever again. I still cannot get up easily and I been to the doctor. He said i should consult a lawyer because it does not seem right for them to tell me I should be more careful next time.

    Any advice?

  5. chyna
    02.09.2013

    I slipped on a bit of squashed banana in tesco not near the fruit and veg at the front of the store and badly hurt my knee I have made a claim and now tesco are asking weather I reported it which I did but at the time they couldn’t find the accident book and so they wrote it on a piece of paper and said they would transfer it over but I’m not sure weather they did or not. Anyway all this happened last august I have had physio on my knee and now when the cold weather is about I’m still getting high levels of pain I just want to know if I will receive compensation from this if so how much and if they can’t find any record of it will it affect the claim.


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