The size of DIY stores and the products they sell means that there will always be the potential for an accident to happen. As DIY stores usually have a large number of customers including children, they must try to prevent accidents wherever possible. Failure to do so could mean the injured party is eligible to claim compensation.
This guide to making a DIY store accident claim will examine some types of accidents and injuries that could mean you’re eligible to claim. We’ll also look at potential compensation levels for DIY store accidents.
If you’d like to discuss an accident in a DIY store, please give our personal injury claims advisors a call on 0800 6524 881. If you’d prefer to find out more about the process first, please continue reading.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Make A DIY Store Accident Claim?
- Common Causes Of Accidents In Stores
- Examples Of Negligence In A DIY Store
- Common Types Of Personal Injuries
- How Much Compensation For A DIY Store Accident?
- Evidence To Support A DIY Store Accident Claim
- DIY Store Accident Claim Time Limits
- Starting The DIY Store Accident Claims Process
The Occupiers Liability Act 1984 places a legal duty of care on retailers to keep customers and visitors as safe from harm as possible. Therefore, you may be eligible to make a DIY store accident claim if:
- The DIY store’s operator breached their duty of care because they were negligent; and
- An accident in the store occurred because of that negligence; and
- You sustained injuries.
You probably needn’t worry too much about proving a duty of care existed. However, you will evidence to show why the operator of the DIY store was negligent and how you sustained your injuries. Therefore, we delve into what evidence will be useful a little later on.
As well as protecting customers and visitors in a DIY store, operators must also keep their staff safe from harm. Therefore, if you’ve been injured when working in a DIY store, you could be compensated if your injuries were caused by:
- Faulty, poorly maintained or damaged industrial machinery.
- Inadequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or no PPE.
- Insufficient safety training.
- Tiredness because you were made to work too many hours.
- A lack of regular risk assessments of the workplace.
If you wish to claim against your employer following a DIY store accident, please call and let us know what happened.
Here are some common examples of accidents in stores that could lead to personal injuries:
- Lifting injuries. Moving heavy items into a trolley could result in back injuries or crushed fingers.
- Falling objects. The vast size of DIY stores means there is a risk that items can fall and strike customers causing serious injuries.
- Slips, trips and falls. While DIY stores do hold a lot of stock, it should be stored safely and not littered around the aisles causing a trip hazard. Similarly, spillages should be cleared up or cordoned off quickly.
- Forklift truck accidents. There is always a risk of injury when forklift trucks and other machinery are used in the same area as members of the public.
- Trolley accidents. You could be injured in a DIY store by products sticking out of another customer’s trolley.
If you’ve been injured in a DIY store and would like us to check if you have a valid personal injury claim, please call our advice centre today.
Examples of negligence in a DIY store that could mean you’re entitled to compensation for your injuries include:
- If stock in the store was piled too high or on damaged shelving.
- Where the DIY store was cluttered with items of stock left in the middle of aisles which you tripped over.
- If you were injured by a forklift truck that was being driven too fast or the driver was on their mobile phone.
- Where you slipped in the garden centre or car park was slippy because of icy conditions that had not been gritted.
- If you sustained a laceration after cutting yourself on a sharp product that did not have a protective covering.
- Where a floor was being cleaned but no wet floor signs were used to warn you of a slip hazard.
These and other types of negligence could allow you to seek damages for any subsequent injuries.
Our solicitors could help you to claim compensation for any DIY store injuries. Some of the most common include:
- Crush injuries and broken bones.
- Head injuries (concussions, brain damage etc).
- Muscle strains, sprains and tears.
- Cuts and bruising.
- Exposure to chemicals and fumes.
- Work-related back injury.
Whatever injury you’ve sustained, if the accident was not your fault, why not call us to discuss your options?
To give you some idea of how much compensation could be paid for injuries sustained in a DIY store accident, we’ve included a compensation calculator as a guide:
To help determine the extent of your injuries, you’ll need a medical assessment during the course of your DIY store accident claim. This will be carried out by an independent expert who’ll report back on your prognosis. Your solicitor will use the report to help determine the right compensation level.
On top of your physical injuries, compensation for a DIY store accident could cover:
- Distress, panic attacks, anxiety and other mental health-related injuries.
- Any impact on your usual pastimes or hobbies (loss of amenity) due to your injuries.
- Replacing damaged personal property (eg clothes, mobile phone, jewellery).
- Lost earnings due to the DIY store accident, and potentially future losses.
- Medical costs including physiotherapy or private hospital fees.
- The time a loved one spent helping you during your recovery.
- Travel costs.
- Home adaptations to improve your quality of life if you’ve been left disabled.
To try and achieve the highest amount of compensation for an accident in a DIY store possible, your solicitor will need to spend a fair bit of time trying to understand how you’ve suffered. It’s important to get this stage right as only one claim is possible.
To be compensated following an accident at the DIY store, you’ll need to prove that a) the accident happened, b) you suffered injuries and c) the DIY store operator was to blame. Therefore, to get evidence for your claim, we’d advise you to:
- Report the incident. Let staff in the DIY store know about the accident as soon as it’s feasible to do so. Ask for a copy of the accident report.
- Take pictures. If it’s safe, take photos of the accident scene before the cause of the accident is cleared away.
- Get to the hospital. Get your injuries treated as quickly as possible by a medical professional. Records from your visit should help prove exactly what injuries you sustained.
- Speak to any witnesses. In case witness statements are needed, ask anybody who saw the accident in the DIY store for their contact details.
- Request CCTV footage. Most DIY stores have security cameras. Therefore, it’s in your interest to ask for a copy of any footage of your accident.
- Keep records. To claim back any expenses, keep a copy of any receipts, wage slips and bank statements.
If you’ve taken the steps above, your chances of being compensated could increase as there should be sufficient evidence to substantiate your claim. If your DIY store accident claim is taken on, your solicitor will do what they can to find any evidence that you’ve not yet managed to secure.
If you begin a personal injury claim for an accident in a DIY store after the legal 3-year limitation period, you could miss out on being compensated. The 3 years will usually start on the date of your accident. However, if your injury is work-related and not immediately apparent, for example, if you’re an employee who has been recently diagnosed with a repetitive strain injury or NIHL, the time limit will usually start from when your condition was diagnosed. However, please do check with our personal injury solicitors as when the time limit begins will depend on the specifics of your case.
If your child was injured in a DIY store, the time limit does not start until their 18th birthday. That allows you to begin the child injury claims process on their behalf at any time before then.
It’s generally easier to find evidence to prove what happened if the claims process is begun as soon as possible. This could also allow you to be paid interim payments to cover lost income, medical expenses and care costs while the claim is being processed.
If your child has been injured in a DIY store and the retailer was to blame, we could help you seek compensation on your child’s behalf. A member of our team will review how your child’s accident occurred and provide free legal advice on what steps to take next.
Please call our advisors on 0800 6524 881 if you’ve suffered injuries at a DIY store and would like to know more about claiming compensation. Not only will your advisor review your claim, but they’ll also give free advice on how to proceed.
If your claim appears to be strong enough, one of our personal injury solicitors may offer to represent you. Importantly, you won’t need to pay them any legal fees upfront as all DIY store accident claims will be managed on a No Win No Fee basis.