I slipped on a grape in my local supermarket and fractured my elbow when I fell. Is it possible to claim compensation for my injuries over something so small?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Question:

I slipped on a grape in my local supermarket and fractured my elbow when I fell. Is it possible to claim compensation for my injuries over something so small?

Answer:

You will be able to claim compensation because you slipped on a grape in the supermarket if it can be shown that your injury was attributable to the negligence of the supermarket management or its staff. This can be difficult when it may be hard to determine how long the grape had been on the floor and where it originated from.

Supermarkets do not have an absolute duty of care to provide you with a safe environment in which to shop and, if you slipped on a grape in the supermarket which had seconds before fallen out of another shopper´s basket, it would not be reasonable to claim that the supermarket was negligent and responsible for your injuries.

If, however, it can be established that the hazard on which you slipped had been present for an unreasonable period of time, or slips on grapes were a common cause of injury in the supermarket, you would be eligible to claim compensation for slipping on a grape in the supermarket – no matter how small the hazard was which caused your injury.

The best way of determining whether negligence was the reason behind your slipped on grape in supermarket injury is to speak with a solicitor. A solicitor will investigate whether claims of this nature have been made in this supermarket before and take advantage of CCTV security systems which are present in supermarkets such as Dunnes Stores, SuperValue, Superquinn and Tesco to see if there is any indication of the length of time that the hazard was present and how long the supermarket staff had to acknowledge the grape as a hazard and remove it.

Supermarkets who acknowledge their liability for an injury on their premises are often quick to offer compensation. However, before accepting any offer from the supermarket or their insurers, you should find out from your solicitor how much compensation for having slipped on a grape in the supermarket you are entitled to. An injury such as a fractured elbow will be quite debilitating and prevent you from performing day-to-day tasks and enjoying a full schedule of social and leisure pursuits.

Therefore, the actual amount of compensation for slipping on a grape in the supermarket could be considerably more than you would receive for your elbow injury alone and it is in your best possible interest to speak with a solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity – not just to establish how much compensation for having slipped on a grape you are entitled to, but also in case the supermarket erases its security tapes and evidence of their negligence is lost forever.