Accident in a Public Place*

Shopping Centre Accident Claims*

If you or a family member have been involved in a shopping centre accident it is imperative that you talk to a solicitor to obtain advice in relation to possibly bringing a personal injuries claim.

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Involved in a Shopping Centre Accident?

Shopping centre accidents are a very common type of public liability claim. Accidents can happen both in the shopping centre, the car park and in surrounding public areas that the shopping centre is responsible for.

Shopping centre owners and managers have a duty of care to ensure that all customers and staff are provided with a safe environment whether they are working or shopping. They have a responsibility to carry out regular risk assessments and eliminate any potential hazards. They must have sufficient health and safety regulations in place in order to prevent accidents and injuries.

Who is Liable?

Following a shopping centre accident, it can be difficult to determine who was responsible for the accident. In most cases, it will be the management or occupier of the shopping centre who will be liable providing that they did not provide a safe space for employees and customers. Under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1995, an occupier of a building has a duty of care to ensure that all visitors are safe and looked after while visiting the shopping centre. Occupiers of a shopping centre need to make sure that all potential hazards are eliminated before they cause an accident to a customer or employee.

Although, it is not always the occupier of the shopping centre who is at fault. In some cases, it may be an employee who has acted negligently in the course of their work. They may have left trip hazards on the floor or may not have cleaned up a spill or wet floor promptly which led to an accident. Providing that they have been given the correct training by their employer then the employee will be at fault for your injuries as they would have acted in a negligent and unsafe manner.

Accidents can also be caused by other occupants of the shopping centre who may have acted negligently. Most accidents caused by members of the public are caused by leaving trollies in the middle of aisles or not taking adequate care when making their way around the shopping centre.

When making a shopping centre injury claim, it is important to determine who was at fault for the accident. This information is needed to proceed with a claim. It would be advised to obtain the contact details of the person at fault once you have determined who was responsible for the accident. The injured party should also take photos of the scene and obtain any CCTV footage which may help in determining who is at fault for your injuries.

Common Shopping Centre Accident Injuries

These accidents can cause various injuries to both customers and staff. These injuries can include:

Common Causes of Shopping Centre Accidents*

Shopping centre owners and managers have a duty of care to ensure that all customers and staff are provided with a safe environment whether they are working or shopping. They have a responsibility to carry out regular risk assessments and eliminate any potential hazards. They must have sufficient health and safety regulations in place in order to prevent accidents and injuries.

Some common causes of shopping centre accidents include:

  • Spillages
  • Wet floor accidents where there is no wet floor warning sign
  • Packaging and merchandise left on the floor
  • Improperly positioned mats
  • Unstable displays
  • Obstacles on the floor
  • Faulty trollies
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Defective doors
  • Faulty escalators and lifts
  • Staff negligence
  • Faulty equipment and machinery
  • Poor manual handling training

What do I do if I'm involved in a shopping centre accident?

Following an accident in a shopping centre, there are a number of steps you should follow:

  1. Seek medical attention

    Your health is your wealth and should be your first priority. Immediately after an accident, take a second to assess yourself to determine if you have any injuries. Then check if anybody else involved in the accident needs medical attention. If anybody has sustained a serious injury, ensure that you contact an ambulance to attend the scene.

    You must remember that minor injuries where you ‘feel fine’ could progress to a more serious injury in the future. In this case, it is always better to be safe than sorry and advisable that you go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) or local GP to be checked out.

  2. Report the accident

    It is important that you report the accident to management. You may be required to assist to fill in an accident form. This is to provide them details of how the accident occurred and details of the injury. You should also request that they preserve any CCTV footage.

  3. Identify any witnesses

    Collect contact details of any witnesses to the accident – their names and contact information.

  4. Document the incident

    It is important that you collect all the relevant information in connection with your accident:

    • How the accident happened, time and date of the accident.
    • Details of any witnesses to the accident (Including staff and other customers); their names, contact information.
    • If there are any CCTV recordings of the accident.
    • Take pictures from different angles of where the accident happened and what caused you to slip, trip or fall.
    • Take pictures of any injuries you suffered, this will help your solicitor to understand how the accident happened.
  5. Speak to a personal injury solicitor

    If you are considering moving forward with a claim for any personal injuries sustained, it is advisable that you speak with a public place accident claims solicitor as soon as possible. If you are proceeding with a claim, the first step will be submitting your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment. A solicitor can help you prepare your application to the Injuries Board and ensure that you follow the process in the correct format, meaning that you can move forward with your claim quickly without unnecessary delays.

    It is important to remember to keep copies of any expenses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. It is also imperative to retain copies of medical reports or incident report forms where possible as you will need them when making a claim.

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How do I make a claim?

Once you have gathered most of the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a specialist public place accident solicitor to help you with this.

  1. Prepare information for a solicitor

    When you decide you want to move forward with your claim it is important to have as much as possible of the relevant information to hand when contacting a solicitor. Some of the important information to have on hand at this point is:

    • Date of the accident
    • Location of the accident
    • Details of who/what caused the accident
    • Specifics of what happened
    • Who did you report the accident to?
    • Is there CCTV that may have captured the accident
    • Details of your injuries
    • Details of hospital or GP attended
    • Any pictures you may have taken of the scene of the accident and/or your injuries
  2. Solicitor becomes your trusted advisor

    As a solicitor is aware of the claims process they can avoid any legal bumps in the road you might encounter if you looked after this matter yourself. It is their job to be your trusted advisor on all legal matters throughout your case.

  3. Solicitor obtains a medical report

    One of the most important documents in your case is a medical report. Your solicitor will ask for your doctor’s or hospital details so he can obtain a report on your injuries. This report will then be used to allow us to progress your case.

  4. Solicitor prepares the Injuries Board application

    As soon as your solicitor has gathered all the information, your accident claim will be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. Your solicitor will do this for you. Once the Injuries Board assess your claim your solicitor will revert with a suggested settlement amount. At this stage, you have a choice to accept the Injuries Board assessment or reject it and move to the next steps.

    At this point one of two scenarios will unfold:

    a. If both you and the other party accept the Injuries Board assessment, your case is settled and the person at fault will be ordered to pay settlement to you.

    b. If either you or the other party reject the Injuries Board assessment, then you move to the next stage and your solicitor will issue legal proceedings.

  5. Possible case outcomes

    Before you start to concern yourself with court and everything that comes with it, it’s important to understand that only a very small percentage of cases actually make it to a courtroom.

    Settlement meetings will be arranged where a settlement can be negotiated. Most cases are settled at this point prior to a court hearing date without you ever having to step foot into a courtroom and remember it’s your solicitor’s job to be with you every step of the way, right beside you to ensure that your best interests are met at all stages. Your solicitor is to be your trusted advisor throughout the process and this allows you to focus on your recovery, as they focus on settling your case.

At Tracey Solicitors LLP, we make law accessible to all – regardless of your knowledge or experience with the claims process. For more information and a confidential discussion on your accident, phone 01 649 9900 or email to tell us about your case, where you can speak with a member of our team straight away.

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Case Settlement

If you are to proceed with a shopping centre accident claim you may be entitled to claim compensation for the accident and added expenses you may have incurred. These claims are called damages:

General Damages

General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following an accident.

Special Damages

Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of an accident in a shopping centre, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills, and added travel costs as a result of the accident (for example, travel to and from the hospital). Learn more about Special Damages.

What are the Legal Time Limits?

The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim — these vary depending on the situation. The general rule for most personal injury cases is that the person has two years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge of the accident to make a claim for compensation. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

Learn more about Time Limits

About Tracey Solicitors LLP

We draw on more than 35 years of experience in personal injury law to provide you with expert advice and legal services.

We’re here to help you with your claim, and will work with you to ensure you understand every step of your legal journey.

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