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Caution sign at supermarket

Shopping, it’s something we all do. Some of us like to use it as retail therapy, others use it as a social activity, while some people just love the hunt for a bargain. Regardless of how you like to go shopping, we all expect that when we do, it’ll be safe.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case and sometimes unexpected injuries can happen because not enough care was taken to ensure a safe environment.

If you’ve been injured in a store because they failed to take reasonable steps to provide a safe space, then you may have a Public Liability claim. This is because individuals, businesses and organisations have a duty of care to ensure that they provide people with a safe environment to shop.

What are some common hazards at shopping centres and supermarkets?

Slippery floors

You slip and fall injuring yourself because staff failed to clean up a spill or warn shoppers of a slipping hazard. This is very common in shopping centres and supermarkets where drinks could be spilled or a recently mopped floor wasn’t properly marked.

Poor maintenance

You were injured because the store or shopping centre didn’t properly maintain things like their escalators, lifts, stairs, railings and pavements.

Unsafe for children

Your child was injured because the store didn’t take enough care to ensure they have a safe environment for kids. For example, child seats on trolleys weren’t fastened, or shelves weren’t secured down, which could lead to a child getting hurt.

Tripping hazards

Boxes obstructing walkways, hidden steps or poorly placed door mats can lead to injuries when people trip and fall down them.

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Example: Ruby and a poorly maintained pavement

Ruby is an office manager. On the weekend she decided to drive down to the local shopping centre to buy a few things. Once she had gotten all her shopping done, Ruby started heading back to her car at the centre carpark. Unfortunately as she walked to her car, Ruby tripped and fell over a chunk of the brick pavement that had come loose and was sticking out.

As a result of the fall, Ruby suffered serious injuries to her left arm and shoulder, including a fractured wrist. Ruby was taken to the hospital and had to undergo surgery and a series of injections. She had to take a few months off work and needed her daughter to help take care of her during her recovery.

In this example, Ruby’s injury was a result of the shopping centre failing to ensure that their pavements were properly maintained and safe for people to regularly walk on. In this case Ruby will have a Public Liability claim.

Suffering an injury is always hard because of the physical pain, but it can also have serious impacts on you and your family. It can result in you having to take time off work, lose income, incur medical expenses, and not be able to take care of your dependents.

To help ease some of these financial stresses, Ruby in this example may be eligible to claim for:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses, including for future surgeries
  • Care and assistance provided by her daughter
  • Pain and suffering

What should you do if you’ve been injured in a store?

If you’ve been injured at a shop, supermarket, or shopping centre you should:

  • Take photos of your injury and the location where your injury happened
  • Note down details of what happened
  • Report your injury to the store or centre management as soon as possible
  • Get the contact information of any witnesses
  • Get a copy of any security camera footage or request the footage be saved
  • Seek medical treatment and explain to your doctor how you were injured
  • Keep receipts of all your medical expenses as well as records of the dates and types of treatment you’ve undergone
  • Keep records of any expenses you’ve incurred or wages you’ve lost because of your injury
  • Seek legal advice

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If you’ve been injured, Slater and Gordon can help

Slater and Gordon have an experienced team of Public Liability lawyers, who’ve been helping clients successfully seek compensation for their injuries for years.

Get in touch with our team who’ll be able to answer your questions, help you consider your options, and advise if you may have a claim. We’ve got the experience, compassion and legal know-how to look after your case, so you can have peace of mind and focus on your recovery.

To ensure that you’re financial situation is not a barrier to you seeking legal assistance, we can also offer our No Win, No Fee* payment arrangement to our clients. No Win, No Fee means that if you don’t win, you don’t pay Slater and Gordon’s fees (the fees that we charge for the work we do on your case).

Get in touch with our team for a free and confidential discussion today.

The contents of this blog post are considered accurate as at the date of publication. However the applicable laws may be subject to change, thereby affecting the accuracy of the article. The information contained in this blog post is of a general nature only and is not specific to anyone’s personal circumstances. Please seek legal advice before acting on any of the information contained in this post.

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