Can I claim compensation for tripping in Tesco car park when I collided with a trolley that had been abandoned in the middle of a footpath? I chipped a tooth as a result.

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

It is likely that you could claim compensation for tripping in a Tesco car park if it can be proven that the accident was due to the supermarket’s negligence. Tesco has a duty of care to provide their customers with safe access to and from their store and if it can be shown that the hazard was not moved in adequate time, a case can be filed against them.

To help prove Tesco’s negligence you should access images taken around the time of your accident on the supermarket’s CCTV by giving the time and date of the accident and a brief description of yourself. This footage will help establish if the hazard could have been removed by a staff member in a “reasonable” period of time. If the hazard appeared only moments before your accident, where a member of staff could not possibly have identified the hazard and had it removed, Tesco would not be held accountable for the accident. This step should be taken as soon as possible as CCTV images can be recorded over or erased after a certain length of time.

Another procedure you should undertake is to report your accident to the supermarket manager and have the details recorded in the “Accident Report Book”. Your health should be your highest priority and it is important that you see a medical practitioner who will record your injury in your medical history, if you have not already been examined.

If Tesco’s liability can be determined by the CCTV footage, there is a possibility that you will be approached by their insurance company with an offer of early compensation. Should you receive such an offer, it is recommended that you refer it to a solicitor who can establish whether or not it is an amount worth accepting as there is the possibility that it will not encompass all of the factors that should be considered when accessing a personal injury compensation claim.

Regardless of whether or not you receive an offer of compensation from Tesco’s insurers, you would be well advised to seek the assistance of a solicitor, who can access the CCTV footage on your behalf, and advise you on how to claim compensation for tripping in Tesco car park if the images are no longer available.