When I slipped on spilled cooking oil in a supermarket I fractured my wrist. Am I entitled to claim for compensation?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

You should be entitled to claim for compensation for the injury you sustained when you slipped on spilled cooking oil in a supermarket if it can be proven that the supermarket owners were responsible for your accident. Supermarket owners or managers legally owe their customers a “duty of care” to provide a safe and clean shopping environment and if this duty of care is proven to have been breached with your accident occurring as a result, you can make a compensation claim against the supermarket.

It must be noted, however, that the supermarket does not have an “absolute” duty to care. This means that if the cooking oil you slipped on was spilled in a time period not long enough for it to be cleaned up by staff, the supermarket cannot be deemed responsible for your injury. For example, if the customer directly ahead of you spilled the oil accidently when attempting to put the bottle in their shopping basket and you slipped on the spillage immediately after.

If the injury you sustained when you slipped on spilled cooking oil in a supermarket was indeed caused by the negligence of the supermarket owner, manager or staff you will need to prove the fact by using eyewitness statements or CCTV footage. You should also have your injury recorded in the supermarket’s “Accident Report Book” – and make sure to retain your own copy of the entry to present to your solicitor.

You would be well advised to engage in the services of a solicitor when attempting to claim compensation for the injury you sustained when you slipped on spilled cooking oil in a supermarket. It would be highly advantageous to have them assist you in the procedures need to be carried out in order to prove negligence. Your solicitor can also help determine whether or not you should accept an early offer of compensation if the supermarket admits liability and their insurers approach you directly before you can initiate legal proceedings.

Most solicitors offer a free initial consultation where they can answer any questions you may have regarding your individual case and they can assess the details of your potential claim and recommend whether or not it is worth pursuing.