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What to do if you slip and fall in a store? Know your rights

3 minute read

Public liability

Spilt soft drink. Leaking refrigerators. Recently mopped floors.

These are just three of the many slip hazards present in Australian supermarkets and grocery stores.

When entering a commercial space like a supermarket, shoppers have a right to safety. A shop’s owner has a legal responsibility, or ‘duty of care’, to take reasonable precautions to protect shoppers from foreseeable injuries.

When this responsibility is breached, our experts have fought for many Australians unexpectedly injured doing their weekly shop to receive the compensation they deserve.

Our clients’ successful supermarket slip and fall cases

Recently we achieved a successful outcome for a middle-aged client who slipped on a spilt ginger beer while shopping at a national supermarket chain. Our client injured his knee, ankle and wrist — his compensation payment will help him pay for likely future surgery.

A second client was injured in a similar manner when she slipped on a loose grape in the produce aisle. Our client suffered a knee injury which affected her ability to walk and obtain work. Her case was settled successfully through negotiation with the supermarket’s insurer.

Slip and fall accidents in grocery stores

Besides spilt drinks and produce, Public Liability claims may arise from injuries in supermarkets and grocery stores due to:

  • insufficient lighting

  • unsigned electrical cables

  • uneven or damaged flooring

  • faulty escalators

  • cleaning agents like floor polish.

If you’ve been injured in a store in a similar circumstance, you may have a claim for compensation if you and your legal team can prove the store was negligent.

If you are experiencing persistent symptoms after being injured, and another person, business or organisation is responsible, you may be able to make a public liability claim.

To help you make a successful claim, we recommend collecting evidence as soon as possible after your injury.

This evidence may include:

Taking photographs of the injury, and the location where the injury occurred.

Writing down what happened to you. Recording the contact details of any witnesses.

Sharing with your lawyer a record of the report you made of your injury and any response you received from those responsible.

Keeping any medical record of your injury. This includes appointment dates, medical certificates and x-rays.

Recording any expenses or lost wages due to your injuries.

How do you prove negligence in slip and fall cases?

‘Negligence’ is a legal concept. In this situation, it means a failure by the store to take reasonable care to avoid an injury occurring. A Public Liability claim will fail if it can’t be proven the store’s negligence contributed to the slip and fall injury.

In our clients’ cases, our Public Liability team argued successfully the stores were negligent due to their failures to detect and clean up the injury-causing ginger beer and grape within a reasonable time.

To prove negligence our lawyers typically use evidence, such as CCTV or witness accounts, to determine whether the store failed to take reasonable care.

Injured in a supermarket - contact Shine Lawyers

If you’d like to make a claim or have any questions about the claims process, you can talk to one of our Public Liability experts on a free, no-obligation basis.

Our Public Liability lawyers work on a No Win No Fee basis*, meaning cost is no barrier to you seeking justice.

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