When can I succeed?. If I trip or slip in a shop (or other premises) and suffer an injury, when can I take a claim? Contrary to some misimpressions, these accident can result in quite severe and long-lasting injuries.
The answer is that, like in most other areas of Law, you must show that the operation/controller of the premises was negligent, i.e, that reasonable standards of safety were not complied with. It is not enough to show that, for example, you slipped on water in a public library or other premises; the owner of the shop can defend the claim by showing that he/she had in place a reasonably good system of cleaning, that the floors had a good slip-resistance etc.
The following are some rules of thumb to follow so as to bolster your case (there rules apply also to many other types of accidents):-
- Report accident immediately (do not quietly/stoically walk away and hope that your injury will subside).
- As best you can (given that you are injured) take note of the surrounding circumstances; where have I fallen?; is it close to a particular /notable landmark?
- Are my clothes soiled/wet after my fa? (this will point to wet/dirty floor).
- Is there debris on the floor?
- Try to discover what caused the fall: for example, did I fall close to vegetable shelf (are their leaves on the floor?).
- Is the area lit up; poor lighting causes many accidents (some stores have a practice of diming their lights at certain times so as to reduce energy costs;
- Try to locate Witnesses; do not be afraid to ask for names and phone numbers of passers-by.
- Take Photos of the scene, if you can;
- Go to your G.P or Hospital immediately, if you are injured;
- As soon as you can, write down the details of the accident ; (many cases are lost because the injured person does not recollect exactly what happened and so a Judge might not be convinced, (frequently, the case might not be heard for some considerable time later);
- Preserve your shoes – so as to show that your shoes had good traction etc.
If you are injured on a footpath/road (for example resulting from a manhole which is lower than the rest of the path), the Law is a little different but you might also have a case.
Berwick Solicitors have represented victims of accidents for over 25 years: Feel free to contact us on 091 567545 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for a brief discussion or inquiry.