Although most supermarkets and grocery stores are well maintained, there is a duty of care that supermarkets have to their occupants because of the sheer number of potential risks that arise due to the nature of their business:
- Produce can easily fall into aisles for people to slip on
- Freezers and spilled containers can leak liquids onto the floor
- There is the risk of food poisoning from expired goods or other kinds of product liability
- Both customers and staff can be injured by heavy products on overhead shelves, moving and stationary equipment, etc.
- Lack of, or improperly placed floor mats in the entrances or exits or in the frozen foods aisle can lead to slips
- Lacerations from damaged shopping carts
- Faulty automatic doors
- Aisle obstructions from boxes, pallets, food, cleaning products, etc.
- Unmaintained pavement within the store property
What is a Duty of Care?
Supermarkets in Brisbane have a legal obligation to make sure that their business premises is safe from harm.
This standard does not mean EVERY kind of harm. Rather, it applies to harm that is reasonably foreseeable.
Ask yourself: “Should the grocery store have known about this kind of risk and prevented it?”
When a supermarket fails to protect their consumers from undue, foreseeable harm, then they have breached their duty of care to that consumer.
This results in liability on part of the supermarket and its owners, which means that they may be responsible to compensate anyone who has been injured due to an accident caused by their negligence.
What can I be compensated for?
Someone who has been injured due to a supermarket’s negligence in preventing an accident may be able to claim damages in court such as:
- Present and future medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Out of pocket expenses for medicines or other necessities such as housekeeping, attendant care, property maintenance, etc.
- Present and future wages that have been lost due to the accident
- Pain and suffering
- Gratuitous care such as care-giving provided by family members or friends
How do I prove my claim?
A person injured in a supermarket accident has the burden of proving their claim in court on a balance of probabilities.
In other words, it is up to you to prove that the supermarket is negligent.
This can be a very difficult standard to meet, especially if you have not received any formal legal training. It is best to leave this determination to an accredited specialist in personal injury.
What do I do if I have been injured in a supermarket?
Call for the manager & fill out an incident report
The biggest mistake you can make if you have been injured in a supermarket is failing to tell management and filling out an incident report. This can severely affect your legal rights later on when you are trying to prove your claim.
It is also advisable that you get a copy of the incident report for your own records as well.
Make sure you document as much as possible
A Brisbane personal injury claim can take a long time to resolve in most cases. During this time, it is likely that details of the accident may be forgotten.
It is important that you try to record as much information of the accident and your injuries if possible.
Pictures of the accident scene, your immediate injuries and the causes of the accident can be invaluable resources for your legal case.
It is also important to get the name and contact information of any potential witnesses who were there when the accident happened.
Make sure you get medical care if necessary
Do NOT ignore your injuries. If you believe you are seriously injured, make sure that the manager contacts emergency services.
If you feel that your injuries are not too serious, then make sure you see a family doctor as soon as possible to get a proper assessment of your injuries.
Do not try to assess the injuries yourself. Not only do you risk aggravating your injury, but you also risk affecting your legal rights if you fail to take reasonable care of yourself in the circumstances.
Keep all Medical records and bills, receipts and lost wages
One of the best advantages of retaining a lawyer is that they will undertake to get all of the necessary documentation to prove your claim. However, it is always helpful when you can to collect copies of your medical records, bills, receipts and other expenses that were a result of the injury. If you lost time off work, then keeping a record of your missed shifts is also helpful to your claim.
What shouldn’t I do if I have been injured in a supermarket?
Sometimes, the cause of a supermarket accident can be difficult to discern right away. Most people’s first instinct after being injured in an accident is to get up and walk away as quickly as possible.
Because people become embarrassed or they may put self-blame for the accident without completely knowing the circumstances of that accident.
They sometimes forget to file an incident report. This is a huge mistake.
In the midst of an accident, adrenaline is pumping and it may mask your pain and symptoms. You may not feel any pain immediately after the accident, but many people report their symptoms a few days later after the accident.
Do not assume that everything is your fault right away. First speak to a Brisbane personal injury lawyer.
East Coast Injury Lawyers Can Help
Speak to an accredited specialist in personal injury before making a decision on whether or not you should pursue a claim.
We can help you by offering a risk free, no cost legal consultation so you can be informed of your initial legal rights.
Simply call us at 1300 720 544 or fill out our case review form.