Shop accidents may happen to shop employees and also to shop customers.
Shop Accident- employee
If you are the shop/ store employee and you suffered form an injury as a result of an accident at work please read information contained on our accident at work page. You will find there detailed information regarding claiming compensation as a result of an accident at work, what to be aware of and how to deal with it.
Shop Accident- customer
Following are the most common causes of injuries suffered by shop customers:
- slip & fall on wet, uneven or dirty floors
- trips over part of shelving, display units, trolleys used for product display and not properly secured or marked
- objects, display items falling on customers from height again due to not being properly stocked or secured.
Shop Accident - what you should do and what you should be aware of
- As always first you should make sure that you are safe and also take care of your health.
- You should notify or ask someone to notify, to the shop staff that the accident occurred; best practice is to notify shop manager or supervisor.
- If possible try to take photographs of the scene of the accident or ask someone to do it for you. Do not assume accident was recorded by CCTV, as not each camera cover is in fact camera. Please also remember some older CCTV systems store recordings only for 7 or 14 days
- It often happens that the pain which signals that there is some injury may only appear after hours or days after the accident, when your stress levels are down. You should visit your GP with any health complaints that you may have, even if you consider them not to be serious. It is worth to do so, even if in the future you make a decision, that the injuries thankfully were not serious and you are not taking any compensation case.
- You should be very careful what is included in accident report completed by the shop staff and how your statement was taken. Under no circumstances you shall sign such a report or statement, if you do not agree with the content of same. If there is a language barrier you shall ensure that there is someone who can translate the documents for you.
- Do not sign any document where you admit your liability or responsibility for the accident. We are strongly recommending solicitor’s consultation before doing so.
- we recommend to be careful and not to accept any vouchers from the shop staff or management, especially when the full extend of possible injury and its seriousness is unknown
Shop Accident - report
It is for the shop owner/ operator to prepare an accident report. What is your obligation as a customer, who was involved in an accident, is to make sure that the accident was properly reported. If there is any doubt, we recommend that you take the name of the shop staff to whom you reported the accident and also consider contacting the shop customer line or chat in order to report accident. If possible, do it via chat or email and keep record of that notification.
You shall not sign any part of the report or statements with which you do not agree. Ask the shop to implement appropriate changes to the report or statement and if they are not forthcoming you shall consider putting your objections to the content of the report or statement in writing and sending them to the shop owner/ operator. It will allow to avoid in the future a situation, where someone will be using a report that although you did not sign is the only existing document describing the accident.
Shop Accident- healthcare
Beside evident situation, where you will immediately go to the doctor, to hospital or you are taken by ambulance from the shop, in less serious injuries, they may become symptomatic only after hours or even days, when the levels of stress and adrenaline caused by the accident are down.
We recommend that it is worth to report to your GP even very minor symptoms, which appeared following an accident in which you were involved. Even if in the future you will decide, that the injuries were finally so minor and not last long that you are not taking any compensation case. That will allow to avoid a situation, if you will decide to pursue your case, that the insurance company or their solicitors will be trying to say, that the fact that you reported symptoms only days after the accident means, that the injuries were caused by some other accident or situation and not by the accident in which you were involved. It will also allow the doctors, who will be preparing reports, if they have a notification of your early symptoms to properly link all your symptoms as the consequences of particular accident.
Another important aspect - you shall not arrange specialist doctor’s appointments or diagnostics such as x-rays, MRI scan or any blood tests, or other diagnostics without referral letter from your GP. We know that in many EU countries it is possible to go directly as a private patient and make a specialist appointment or to have for example an MRI scan, but it is not a common practice in Ireland and normally you will be expected to have a referral letter before such diagnostics are taking place. That will allow in the future to avoid a situation where someone will say, that you were trying to self treat or self heal yourself without your GP’s knowledge. Such self referrals may also affect your case. Of course it makes no difference, if it is about a real danger to your health and when the time is of an essence. However each time and whenever possible you shall consult your GP before making such scans or specialist appointments.
Shop Accident - when to start your case
We are recommending that you make a contact with your solicitor as soon as you look after your health and safety. It is important as the Civil Courts and Liability Act imposes an obligation, that you shall inform of your injuries and your intention to claim compensation in a letter, which should be sent within a month from the date of the accident. If this is not done it may have an implication for your case in the future in particular in the area of legal costs. Our office will send such a letter within one month from the date of the accident and as soon as we will receive a proper authority to act on your behalf, and we will do it even quicker after you make a contact with us in order to protect your interests.
Contrary to some people, who say or advise that you may wait with the start of your case till you recover from the injuries, we are saying that the letter notifying the other party of your intention to claim damages and indicating that you were injured in that accident shall be sent and it does not make an obligation on you to pursue your case in the future in case you change your mind.
You shall also MAKE A DIFFERENCE between the date which is called the statute of limitations and which is currently for personal injuries two years, (so you have two years to claim compensation from the date of the accident). You shall differentiate this date from the one month period to send a letter indicating your intention to claim compensation.