Can I claim falling object injury compensation for concussion and bruising to my head after a bottle fell off a supermarket shelf? I must also have injured my wrist when I fell and it has just started to become painful. Can this be included in my claim?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Question:

Can I claim falling object injury compensation for concussion and bruising to my head after a bottle fell off a supermarket shelf? I must also have injured my wrist when I fell and it has just started to become painful. Can this be included in my claim?

Answer:

You should be eligible to make a claim for falling object injury compensation against the public liability insurance policy of the supermarket operator. All shops and supermarkets must purchase insurance to cover personal injuries to members of the public which occur on the premises; however your right to make a falling object injury compensation claim can be placed in jeopardy by the actions which you took after the accident.

Your health and safety should always be your primary concern after an accident, so you must have visited a doctor for treatment. A delay in seeking medical attention may not only place your health in jeopardy, but also your right to claim falling object injury compensation. The supermarket may reject a claim for falling object injury compensation if you did not seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries.

From a legal standpoint, in order for an injury to be included in a claim for falling object injury compensation it must be mentioned in your medical records. If you sought medical attention for your head injuries these can certainly be included in your falling object injury compensation claim. It would appear from your question that you were not aware of your wrist injury until recently. This suggests that your wrist injury has not yet been diagnosed by a doctor. If your wrist has only just started to hurt and it was not examined after the accident, you must return to the doctor as soon as possible for an examination and to get your injury properly diagnosed and noted in your medical records.

Any accident in a public building, shop or supermarket must also be documented in the relevant ‘Accident Book’. An outline of how the accident occurred and the injuries which were sustained – if known at the time – should also be listed, together with your contact details. If you have not already done this, you must return to the supermarket and make the report stating the date that the accident occurred.

Although it is not mandatory to use a personal injury solicitor to pursue a falling object injury compensation claim, it is strongly recommended that you speak with a personal injury solicitor before filing your claim with the Injuries Board. Your falling object injury compensation claim could become complicated by the inclusion of your wrist injury and the supermarket´s insurance company may reject the claim. A personal injury solicitor will help to make sure that all of your injuries are included in your falling object injury claim and that you receive your full entitlement to falling object injury compensation.