Personal Injury – Who’s Liable?
17th February 2013
I have just slipped on yoghurt in a supermarket and sustained serious injuries; can I make a claim against the supermarket?
Yes you can. When you are on private property such as shops, restaurants, offices, parks, leisure facilities, public paths, schools and hospitals you are protected by the Occupier’s Liability Act 1957.
The occupier – that is, the person in control of the area, either through ownership or lease – owes every lawful visitor on the property a common duty of care to ensure that they remain safe.
What do I need to prove to be successful?
For your claim to be successful, you will need to show that the occupier failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the accident:
- You will need to show that the occupier failed to take any reasonable care to see that you would be safe in using their premises e.g.-
§ There were no warnings of the hazard
Does the occupier have a defence?
Yes, if they can prove that they do inspect the area regularly and/or that the accident was due to the fault of an independent contractor employed by the occupier.
What should I do after my accident?
Report your accident – As soon as your accident has happened, you or your companion should report it to the person in authority. Make sure it is logged in an accident book and signed. Mention the cause of the accident and retain a copy of the entry.
Seek medical attention – Go to hospital or see your GP. Not only will this ensure that you are given the appropriate medical treatment, it will also mean that your accident and injuries are recorded.
Gather evidence – If it is possible, take a photo of the scene and cause of your accident and gather any witness statements and contact details of witnesses.