Supermarket injury compensation claims – what you need to know

Posted Nov 13, 2018.

Dominated by what is known as the ‘Big Four’- the well known brands who together control almost three quarters of the UK’s grocery market, supermarkets are the country’s most visited retail environments and shops.  As a result, despite specific health and safety policies being required, suffering from an injury that was not your fault in a supermarket is not uncommon. Competition from other, newer brands - with the resultant cost cutting such as zero-hours contracts and under staffing – can often result in a big drop in health and safety standards.

Types of supermarket injuries

Accidents and injuries in supermarkets affect both customers and staff, and can include injuries suffered from a slip or a fall on a wet surface, chemical burns, falling displays or products, blocked passageways / aisles and accidents in supermarket car parks. We are seeing an increase in all types of supermarket injury claims and as always, it is important to seek professional advice to ensure that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to.

Supermarket Compensation – what you can claim for

If you are unfortunate enough to suffer an injury through no fault of your own in a supermarket, whilst actual compensation will depend on the specific circumstances of your claim, they can be broken down into four main areas:

1. General Damages – compensation that is awarded for physical injuries; pain and loss of amenity (that is, how your quality of life may have been affected by the injury); long term, psychological injuries and issues, particularly as a result of more serious accidents

2. Special damages – compensation designed to make up for monetary loss and hardship that you may have suffered, such as being unable to carry out your job or profession. Special damages tend to be higher in more serious supermarket claims. 

3. Travel Expenses – for out of pocket expenses you may have incurred following the accident, subsequent treatment and related court attendance (if required, this is not common in most claims) such as taxi, bus or rail fares.

4. Medical Costs – to cover any medical and treatment related costs you may have incurred following your supermarket accident, both for ‘one-off’ and ongoing treatments. With more serious claims, this can also include long term care costs.

Why are supermarkets liable to pay compensation?

UK law makes it clear as to the extent of the responsibilities that supermarket owners have regarding the safety of their customers and staff. Supermarkets must be free from hazards and they must ensure that visitors are not at risk of sustaining an injury of any type. Supermarkets must take all reasonable steps to ensure that their shops and premises are safe, including regular inspections and rapid resolution of potential threats, including adequate warning signs.  This is known as the supermarkets ‘duty of care’ to their customers and staff; should this duty of care fail and the supermarket has been negligent in ensuring that the required health & safety rules have been implemented, then they are likely to face a claim for personal injury compensation. 
Supermarkets are insured against the risk of such claims. As insurance companies will always try to reduce their claims losses, it is very important to seek the advice of a personal injury solicitor to make sure that any claim you may have is settled at the level that is appropriate for your injuries.