A few days ago I injured myself in an accident in a shop door, can I claim compensation?
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief
On asking the question “I injured myself in an accident in a shop door, can I claim compensation?” it is evident that you have not already initiated legal action. There are several factors that should be taken into consideration to answer that question – for example, the circumstances of the accident, whether or not there were any witnesses or if it was captured on CCTV – but the first thing that must be established is that the accident with the shop door was caused by a breach in the duty of care that the shop owner should legally provide you with.
There are several ways in which a shop door injury can be sustained; when automatic doors fail to open, for example, or when glass panes are incorrectly identified as doors. You would be well advised to consult with a solicitor on the nature of your injuries and circumstances of your accident as they would be in a good position to advise you on the best way to pursue a compensation claim, if they agree that you have one worth pursuing.
For a solicitor to answer the question “I injured myself in an accident, can I claim compensation?” they would recommend that you carry out a number of procedures, if you had not already completed them. The first is to seek medical treatment at the first moment possible following the accident. Waiting too long before being examined by a medical professional can potentially reduce the value of your claim significantly.
You should also report your accident to the shop’s owner and have your injury noted in the shop’s “Accident Report Book”. The details of potential witnesses should be obtained and it may be necessary to access CCTV footage from the shop’s system. It is important to act as quickly as possible in these circumstances as the memories of witnesses may fade or images captured on CCTV may be erased.
The situation may arise where the shop owners effectively admit liability, if their insurance company approach you directly with an early offer of compensation. Be aware that these offers do not usually adequately represent the amount of compensation you should be entitled to and it would be well worth your while referring such an offer to a solicitor who can recommend whether it should be accepted or if you would be better served initiating legal action.
You would be well advised to personally ask an experienced solicitor “I injured myself in an accident in a shop door, can I claim compensation?” In the free initial consultation that most solicitors offer, he or she can assess the details of your claim and advise you on whether or not it is worth pursuing.