Is it possible to claim compensation for tripping on rubbish on a shop floor? My local corner shop is convenient but filthy and I cracked my patella when I tripped on a slippery ice-cream wrapper.

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Provided that the shop can be proven to have breached their legal duty of care to provide a safe and clean shopping environment for their customers, you should be able to claim compensation for tripping on rubbish on a shop floor. There are some standard procedures you should have taken when the accident happened but even if you did not apply them you may still qualify to claim compensation. The key is, however, to act quickly as once the shops is made aware that you are attempting to pursue a compensation claim, they may remove any evidence that your accident was indeed caused by their negligence.

If any person witnessed your accident, it would be advantageous if you collected their details. If you had access to a camera, it would be useful to have taken pictures of the scene of the accident. For further evidence to support your claim, you should acquire access to the CCTV footage (if the shop has a CCTV system) to establish the poor condition of the shop and to acknowledge that the hazard which caused you to trip and sustain a cracked patella injury could have been removed in a reasonable amount of time, thus preventing your injury.

Even if you did not carry out all of the procedures mentioned above, you would be well advised in engaging with the services of a solicitor when attempting to claim for compensation for tripping on rubbish on shop floor. Acting on your behalf, they would be able to gather all of the evidence needed to support your claim. By evaluating the information given by you regarding the circumstances surrounding your injury, the treatment you have received for it or are still receiving for and the affect it has had on your quality of life, your solicitor would be able to give a preliminary indication of how much compensation you should be entitled to receive.

In the event that the shop admits liability and their insurance company approaches you with an unsolicited offer of compensation for tripping on rubbish on a shop floor, your solicitor would be able to assess their offer and determine whether it is a reasonable amount for you to accept or if you would be better served by pursuing legal action.