I hurt my finger when I slipped on a wet patch in a supermarket and wanted to know if I can claim fractured finger compensation.

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

You would be entitled to claim fractured finger compensation if it can be proven that your injury was due to the supermarket owner or manager’s negligence. Supermarket owners have a legal duty of care to provide their customers with a safe and clean shopping environment and any breach of this care that leads to an accident resulting in an injury would make the owner responsible. However, this duty of care is not “absolute”, meaning that if the wet patch you slipped on appeared in a time in which no staff member could have cleared it – or erected a warning sign – in a “reasonable” amount of time, the supermarket would not be held at fault.

There are a number of procedures that you should have carried out in order to support your claim for fractured finger compensation. The first, and most important, is that you had your injury examined by a professional medical practitioner immediately after your accident. Having your finger treated by a first-aid officer is not sufficient as your injury must be recorded in your medical history in order to pursue a compensation claim. It should also be noted that any substantial gap between the date of the injury and the date it was recorded in your medical history could lead to a potential 25% reduction of your overall settlement.

You should also have had your injury recorded in the supermarket’s “Accident Report Book”, which they are legally required to maintain on site and have all accidents that occur on its premises noted in it. You may find that some similar accidents have occurred, and this can be used as evidence in your fractured finger compensation claim. You should also have collected the details of any witnesses to the accident. Further evidence could be found on CCTV, which can establish the length of time the wet patch had been there for and the efforts staff took to eliminate the hazard.

If you have not yet completed all of these procedures, you are still advised to contact a solicitor at the first practical moment. Most solicitors offer a free initial consultation where they can answer any questions you may have about your fractured finger compensation claim and recommend whether or not it is viable. They can assist you with procedures you have left to do and can evaluate an early offer of compensation that may be made by the supermarket’s insurance company if they admit liability and determine its fairness and reasonability.