Supermarket Slip and Fall Claims Guide.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall at Coles, Woolworths or any other Australian supermarket, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. This guide will help you understand everything you need to know to make a successful supermarket slip and fall claim and receive a compensation payout.
Supermarket slip and fall injury claims.
Although getting injured is probably the last thing you expect when you go to a supermarket, Coles and Woolworths slip and fall cases and injury claims are more common than you might think. There can be a range of hazards that cause accidents resulting in injury claims, and if you’re injured, time off work and treatment expenses can cause significant financial stress. So it makes sense to claim compensation for your injuries.
Common supermarket slip and fall hazards and injuries.
Coles, Woolworth, Aldi, IGA and all other supermarkets in Australia have a duty of care towards you. This means they have to take reasonable steps to prevent injuries from hazards. For example:
- 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, then it’s likely you’re entitled to a compensation payout. Some of the more common slip and fall injuries include minor bruising, soft tissue damage and sprains. More serious supermarket injury 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 all pose risks and are all potential causes of supermarket compensation claims.
How much supermarket accident compensation could I get?
In a recent Coles slip and fall case, 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. In another high-profile Australian case in 2020, a woman made a Woolworths injury claim for $1.3 million for slipping on a grape and sustaining injuries that led to a hip replacement.
Coles and Woolworths slip and fall claims payouts 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 can easily run into tens or hundreds of thousands 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?
It’s important to understand that if you’ve been injured in an accident inside a supermarket, you’re not automatically entitled to 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 hasn’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 some time before the accident but the supermarket failed to take any action to prevent injury, then it’s more likely that the supermarket would be found to be negligent.
Even if you were hurt in a minor accident inside a supermarket, and you’re not sure if the supermarket was negligent, you may still be entitled to make a supermarket injury claim as injures can worsen over time. So it’s worth talking to a public liability lawyer to get an indication of 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 on a floor in a supermarket?
Here are some tips to help you build a strong case for your Coles or Woolworths slip and fall claim, or for any other supermarket injury claims:
- 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?
The idea of suing for a Coles or Woolworths compensation payout for your injury might seem daunting. After all, haven’t they got expensive lawyers on their side? However, although the legal arguments might be complex, the process of suing is actually quite simple, and you shouldn’t need to pay any money to your lawyer unless you win.
Remember, when you sue a supermarket, you’re actually making a claim for public liability compensation, and there are laws that determine whether you’re entitled to a compensation payout. A specialist public liability lawyer will be able to assess your situation over the phone and advise you on your likelihood of success. And if they offer no win no fee terms, you won’t have to pay anything until after you receive your supermarket slip and fall payout.
To be successful, supermarket injury claims need to meet these requirements:
- It can be proven that the people responsible for the supermarket knew (or should have known) about the wet floor or slip hazard.
- It can be proven that your supermarket slip and fall accident could have been avoided if the people responsible took steps to eliminate the slip risk.
- 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 claim a Coles or Woolworths compensation payout, or a make a slip and fall claim for any other supermarket, speak to a specialist public liability lawyer at Law Partners today.
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