Supermarket Slip and Fall Payouts Australia – Your Guide.
Getting injured is probably the last thing you expect when you go shopping. But supermarket slip and fall accidents that result in injury claims in Australia are more common than you might think.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall at Woolworths, Coles, or any other Australian supermarket, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries, and these compensation payouts can be significant. This guide will help you understand everything you need to know about your rights and how to claim a supermarket slip and fall payout in Australia.
Supermarket slip and fall injury claims.
Injuries from slipping and falling in a supermarket can be serious and often result in time off work, surgery, and treatment that can go on for some time. This can cause significant financial stress.
This is why, in Australia, we have a safety net for people injured in slip and fall accidents in public buildings like supermarkets; a safety net that provides you with financial support while you recover.
So it makes sense to claim compensation for your injuries. And if your injuries are more serious, you might also be entitled to a lump sum slip and fall payout. Read on to learn how to claim everything you’re entitled to, and how to get help with your claim.
Common supermarket slip and fall hazards and injuries.
Coles and Woolworths injury claims are quite common in Australia, along with other supermarkets including Aldi and IGA. All supermarkets in Australia have a duty of care towards shoppers and staff. This means they have to take reasonable steps to prevent injuries from hazards. This could include:
- Cleaning up food spills, like dropped grapes, promptly
- Mopping up liquid spills as soon as they happen
- Clearing up litter and debris, especially broken glass
- Placing non-slip mats in areas where slip hazards are likely
- Placing signage down to warn of hazards such as freshly mopped floors
- Ensuring the supermarket is well lit
If a supermarket has failed in its duty of care to you and you’ve been injured in a slip and fall, then it’s likely you’re entitled to compensation. Some of the more common slip and fall injuries include minor bruising, soft tissue damage and sprains. More serious supermarket slip and fall claims are for injuries like head injuries, compound fractures, and broken bones.
Hazards don’t just include wet floors and obstructions. Faulty or malfunctioning doors, poorly maintained escalators, misplaced entry and exit mats and dangerously stacked shelves are all potential causes of injuries that may result in supermarket slip and fall payouts.
Supermarket slip and fall cases and payouts in Australia.
Woolworths slip and fall case:
In a high-profile Woolworths slip and fall case in 2020, a woman made a claim for $1.3 million for slipping on a grape and sustaining injuries that led to a hip replacement. The claim was successful because it was shown that the supermarket had failed in its duty of care to the customer.
Coles slip and fall case:
In another recent case involving a Coles slip and fall, the supermarket paid out $300,000 to a shopper who slipped on a wet floor in front of a refrigerated cabinet, resulting in a serious injury to her ankle, which required surgery. Although spillages and wet floors are common around refrigerated cabinets, in this instance the supermarket had failed to clean up the floor promptly and was therefore found liable.
Supermarket slip and fall payouts in Australia vary greatly depending on the extent of the injuries caused by the accident. When you make a claim, you’re actually making a public liability claim against the supermarket, and you might be able to claim amounts for the following:
- Lost income
- Medical expenses
- Travel expenses
- Domestic assistance
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent impairment
- Future losses
Supermarket slip and fall payouts in Australia often run into tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars and in rare cases millions of dollars. Even if you were hurt in a minor accident inside a supermarket, it’s quite common for injuries to worsen over time or lead to other issues. For example, an injury that causes a limp can lead to hip and back problems over time.
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What are my rights if I’m injured in a supermarket slip and fall in Australia?
It’s important to understand that if you’re injured in a slip and fall accident at a supermarket, you’re not automatically entitled to claim compensation. To make a successful claim, you need to show that the supermarket was negligent, and could have taken action to prevent the accident.
For example, if there’s a liquid spill in a supermarket that causes you to slip and fall, but the supermarket staff haven’t had the opportunity to clean up the spill (perhaps because it has just happened), then it’s unlikely the supermarket would be found negligent. On the other hand, if the spill had happened a long time before the accident but the supermarket failed to clean it up or do anything to prevent customers from being injured, then it’s far more likely that the supermarket would be found liable.
Even if you were hurt in a minor slip and fall accident in a supermarket, you may still be entitled to a slip and fall payout as injuries can get worse over time. So it’s worth getting in touch with a public liability lawyer to get an opinion on whether you have a valid claim. For more information, you can also read our Guide to Public Liability Compensation Claims.
What do I do if I slip and fall in a supermarket?
It’s important to keep records of your accident and injuries, so that you’ll have the supporting evidence you need for your Coles or Woolworths slip and fall claim, or for any other supermarket injury claims.
Here are some tips on what do if you’re injured:
- Take photographs of your injuries if they’re visible
- Take photographs of the accident scene
- Take photographs of what caused your accident
- Write down all the details you can remember about your accident
- Look for CCTV cameras covering the accident scene
- Get the contact information of any witnesses
- Keep a record of any expenses caused by the accident (e.g. medical bills)
- Keep a record of any lost income if you can’t work because of the accident
- Get a sick note from your employer if you can’t work because of the accident
- Get an assessment and medical report from your doctor
Can you sue a supermarket for slipping?
Yes you can, and you shouldn’t need to pay any money to your lawyer unless you win. The idea of suing Woolworths or Coles for injury compensation might seem daunting. After all, they’re large corporations that can afford expensive lawyers. But the reality is, although the legal arguments over liability for your injury might seem complex, the process of suing a supermarket is actually quite simple for you if you choose the right lawyer.
If you’re suing Woolworths, Coles or any other supermarket, you’re actually making a claim for compensation against the supermarket’s public liability insurer. Public liability insurance is there to cover injuries caused by negligence on the part of the business. So you’re really just claiming what you’re entitled to.
A specialist public liability lawyer can assess your situation over the phone and advise you on your likelihood of success. If you pursue your claim and the lawyer offers no win no fee terms, you won’t have to pay anything until after you receive your supermarket slip and fall payout. Take care which lawyer you choose though, as some no win no fee lawyers will still make you pay their expenses if they’re unsuccessful with your claim.
How do you make a successful supermarket slip and fall claim?
To make a successful supermarket injury claim you need to:
- Prove that the people responsible for the supermarket knew (or should have known) about the wet floor or slip hazard.
- Prove that your supermarket slip and fall accident could have been avoided if the people responsible had taken steps to eliminate the slip risk.
- Show that you’ve suffered losses as a result of your supermarket accident, such as medical bills or time off work.
In other words, your lawyer will need to prove that the supermarket was negligent and didn’t meet its duty of care to keep you safe while you were shopping, causing you to have an accident that led to an injury.
Supermarket compensation claims need to be made within three years from the date of injury. If you weren’t aware of your injury at the time of your accident, this three-year window may begin from the date you became aware. In the case of minors or if you have a disability, the claim limit is six years.
To find out whether you can make a Coles or Woolworths injury claim, or a slip and fall claim against any other supermarket, speak to a specialist public liability lawyer at Law Partners today on 13 15 15. Law Partners is Australia’s largest specialist personal injury firm, and we win over 99% of our cases.
An accredited specialist in personal injury law with expertise across medical negligence, public liability and motor accident compensation claims, in a career spanning the best part of two decades.
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