How can I claim for compensation if I tripped on boxes stacked on the floor in a supermarket and broke my arm?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

The fact that you broke your arm when you tripped on boxes stacked on the floor in a supermarket suggests that the supermarket failed in their “duty of care” towards you and is, therefore, responsible for your injury. All shops are expected to provide a safe and clean shopping environment for their customers and although their duty of care is not “absolute” (meaning that they would not be responsible for an accident that occurred where staff did not have a “reasonable” amount of time to remove the hazard that caused it) they would not have much of a defence against liability for an unattended stack of boxes on the floor being the cause of a customer breaking their arm.

To support your compensation claim for an injury you sustained after you tripped on boxes stacked on the floor in a supermarket, you will need the cooperation of the employees (or other customers) who helped you or you will need to access the images recorded on the supermarket’s CCTV to establish that the boxes you tripped over had been left unattended for an unreasonable length of time. It is advised that you have your injury recorded in the supermarket’s “Accident Report Book” where it may be possible to find other instances of accidents which occurred due to negligence.

There are other procedures you should have carried out in order to have your claim for tripped on boxes stacked on the floor in supermarket compensation, including being treated for your injuries by a medical practitioner immediately after the accident. If you haven’t already seen a doctor or if you waited until a few days later, it is possible that the amount of compensation you should be entitled to would be significantly reduced on the grounds that you contributed to the severity of your injury due to your own lack of care.

There is the possibility that the supermarket’s insurance company will approach you directly with an offer of compensation, which effectively admits their liability. While an offer such as this may seem tempting in the early days following your accident when you are likely to be at your most vulnerable, you should be aware that this offer will potentially not reflect the true amount of compensation you should be entitled to as the insurance company probably will not factor in all of the elements that should be accounted for in your claim, such as “loss of amenity” – how your injury has affected your quality of life.

You would be well advised to seek the assistance of a solicitor should you wish to claim compensation for your broken arm which was caused when you tripped on boxes stacked on a floor in a supermarket. He or she would be in a good position to recommend whether or not it would be in your best interests to accept the offer of compensation by the supermarket’s insurers. Additionally, your solicitor can gather evidence on your behalf, and investigate any incidents that appear in the Accident Report Book which could be beneficial to your case.