Am I entitled to claim compensation for slipping on spilled milk in Marks and Spencers? I broke my thumb two weeks ago when I slipped and since then I have been offered a hand out of 800 Euro. Is this sufficient or should I think of pursuing legal action?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

It is important to note that no two claims for compensation for slipping on spilled milk in Marks and Spencers are exactly the same and that each case should be evaluated according to its individual merits. The effect an injury has on each person is different and a certain amount awarded to one person may not accurately cover the needs of another person with a similar injury. Therefore, it is recommended that before accepting any offer of compensation from the negligent party’s insurers, you should speak with an experienced solicitor who can evaluate its sufficiency.

There is a possibility that Marks and Spencer’s insurers will depend on an online compensation calculator or rely on a previous settlement to determine the amount of compensation you should receive and that they will overlook your age, general state of health prior to your accident and any deterioration to your quality of life, which in many cases can make all of the difference in your overall compensation settlement.

In calculating your compensation for slipping on spilled milk in Marks and Spencers claim, a number of elements will be considered in addition to any pain and suffering you have experienced. You may be entitled to claim for psychological trauma if you have experienced emotional distress as a result of your accident. You may also be able to recover any expenses incurred which may include medical costs or fares for public transport if you are unable to drive and also loss of income. The financial expenses of your thumb injury may escalate if you are unable to work for a period of time and should not be excluded when Marks and Spencer’s insurers offer you a compensation settlement.

Another factor that is considered but can be difficult to calculate is that of “loss of amenity”. This refers to any deterioration in your quality of life – if you cannot perform day to day tasks or if you cannot partake in a leisure activity that you once enjoyed. A compensation offer by Marks and Spencer’s insurers would not be likely to include this factor since it is impossible to know the impact an injury such as this can have on an individual’s lifestyle without consultation and expert testimony.

To increase the possibility of a successful compensation for slipping on spilled milk in Marks and Spencers claim, it is recommended that you keep a diary to record each time your injury prevents you from enjoying an active, full life. You should also retain any receipts for costs incurred that are directly attributable to your injury. A solicitor will be able to use this information to assess how much compensation you are truly entitled to and will be able to recommend whether Marks and Spencer’s offer is acceptable or if you should initiate legal proceedings.