Am I entitled to compensation for a shop injury from slipping and falling? I tore the tendons in my thumb trying to break my fall and cannot currently work or drive.

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Question:

Am I entitled to compensation for a shop injury from slipping and falling? I tore the tendons in my thumb trying to break my fall and cannot currently work or drive.

Answer:

Provided that it can be established that your injuries were attributable to a lack of care by the staff at the shop in which you tore your tendons, you should be entitled to compensation for a shop injury from slipping and tripping. Shops have a duty of care to provide customers with an environment in which it is safe to shop and, if staff have failed to spot a hazard which led to your injury, they are in breach of that duty of care and liable in a claim for shop injury from slipping and falling.

However, a shop´s duty of care is not absolute, and it will have to be proven that the hazard on which you slipped had been present for an unreasonable amount of time. If the shop can prove that any such hazard had only just appeared, a claim for shop injury from slipping and falling may well be contested. It is consequently in your best interests to speak with a solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss the circumstances of your accident.

Once negligence is established, a solicitor will assess the value of your claim to account for the extent and severity of your injury and how it has affected your quality of life. If you are unable to work or drive due to your injury, the solicitor will include these factors in the calculation of how much compensation for a shop injury from slipping and falling you are entitled to. The solicitor will then submit a letter of claim to the shop´s insurers and try to obtain the maximum possible settlement of compensation for your shop injury from slipping and falling in the least possible time.

However, if the shop contests its liability for your tendon injury – or its insurers fail to make an appropriate offer of compensation – you may have to submit a claim for a shop injury from slipping and falling to the Injuries Board Ireland. Once liability is officially denied, or an offer of compensation officially rejected, the Injuries Board Ireland will issue you with an authorisation to pursue your claim for a shop injury from slipping and falling through the courts.

Although this course of action can be long-winded and result in a delay for receiving your compensation for a shop injury from slipping and falling, often the issuing of court proceedings brings the shop´s insurers back to the table and a compensation settlement is negotiated out of court. Therefore, to prevent any further delay, you should discuss the circumstances of your shop accident and injury with a solicitor as soon as you can.