Storage solutions including shelving and racking make many workplaces, supermarkets and DIY stores much more efficient. As well as allowing more items to be stored, shelving racks can help businesses to be much more organised. However, if they are not stacked properly or they’re poorly maintained, accidents can happen. If you’re injured by items falling from shelving (or any other type of accident), you could be compensated for your suffering. In this guide, we’ll look at how shelving accident claims work, what evidence can help support your claim and how much compensation could be paid.
Our team can help you if you decide to sue for a shelving accident. They’ll begin by offering a comprehensive review of your case. During your call, you’ll get free legal advice and your options will be explained. If there is a realistic chance that you’ll be compensated, we’ll ask one of our personal injury solicitors to step in. They’ll work for you on a No Win No Fee basis if they take you on as a client meaning you will only need to pay them if compensation is awarded.
To start the ball rolling right away, call us for a free case review on 0800 6524 881. To learn more about your chances of being compensated before calling, please read on.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Make A Shelving Accident Claim?
- Common Injuries From Shelving & Racking Accidents
- Negligence Causing Accidents With Shelving
- How Much Compensation Do I Get For A Shelving Or Racking Accident?
- Evidence To Support A Shelving Accident Claim
- Shelving Accident Claims Time Limits
- Starting The Shelving Accident Claims Process
In any type of shelving accident claim, the first thing that needs to be established is that the defendant owes a duty of care to the claimant. Legally, this can come from various pieces of legislation. For example, if you’re injured by damaged racking or shelving at work, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1957 might be relevant. Similarly, shop shelving accidents might be based on the Occupiers Liability Act 1957. Both of these laws mean organisations have to take reasonable steps to try and protect your wellbeing while on their premises.
Before taking on a shelving accident claim, your solicitor will assess whether:
- The defendant’s negligence meant they breached their duty of care; and
- As a direct consequence, an accident with shelving happened; and
- You suffer some sort of injury during that accident.
Proving all of the above is vital if you’re to be compensated. Therefore, we’ll look at evidence that might be useful in an accident claim later on in this guide.
It’s important to note that, potentially, you could claim compensation for any type of injury sustained during a shelving or racking accident (other than the most minor injuries) caused by somebody else’s negligence. We won’t list all injury types here of course but some of the most common include:
In some cases, you’ll recover from your injuries in a matter of weeks or months. In others, though, you might suffer long-term or catastrophic injuries. In either case, compensation could be awarded to help you deal with the consequences of your injuries or to improve your quality of life. Please call today if you’d like to check if a shelving accident claim might be appropriate for your injuries.
Again, we can’t list every single scenario that might lead to a shelving accident claim within this guide. However, we’ve added a few examples below:
- Where you cut a finger at work on a damaged shelf while selecting items in a supermarket.
- If a member of staff dropped a product that struck you while stacking shelves in a DIY store.
- If you suffered a concussion after items fell from overstacked shelving in a warehouse accident claim.
- If you fell from a ladder leant against shelving at work because of a lack of safety training.
- Where you suffered a crush injury because your arms or legs got stuck in shelving that collapsed because it was in a poor state of repair.
- If you suffered a back injury at work while retrieving heavy items that had been stored on shelving above shoulder height.
- Where you suffered head injuries because PPE wasn’t provided in a particularly dangerous working environment.
- Where you were burned by chemicals stored on shelving because the packaging had become damaged when being loaded.
Even if you don’t see an example that matches your own here, please call our team on 0800 6524 881 to check if you might be eligible to claim compensation for your injuries.
The amount of compensation that’s awarded for a shelving or racking accident is designed to cover the impact of your injuries and to help you recover as much as possible. General damages are sought to cover your physical and mental suffering whereas special damages aim to recover any financial losses. The differences between these two damages are explained here.
Each claim will vary from the next but, in theory, yours could be based on:
- Any pain your injuries and subsequent treatment due to the shelving accident caused.
- Anxiety, depression or distress caused by your injuries.
- Compensation for lost earnings if you couldn’t work whilst injured.
- Care costs to cover the time of a family member, carer or friend who looked after you.
- Fuel, parking or public transport fares linked to medical appointments (for example).
- Rehabilitation and medical expenses.
- The cost of adapting your home to help you cope with an ongoing disability.
- Future earnings losses if your injuries prevent you from earning as much in the long term.
Our solicitors will always work hard to fully understand the impact of your injuries. By doing so, they can try to make sure everything is included in your shelving accident claim in an effort to secure as much compensation as possible.
The following compensation calculator can be used to give you some idea of the level of compensation (for general damages) that might be paid for a range of injuries in shelving accident claims.
As part of a shelving accident claim, any injuries will typically need to be assessed by an independent medical expert. You needn’t be concerned about this and your solicitor will usually book you a local appointment. During the meeting, your injuries will be examined and you’ll be asked to explain the impact they’ve had. Afterwards, the specialist will prepare a report about your prognosis and forward it to all involved in your claim.
Whether you’re claiming against your employer or a shop owner, you’ll need evidence to prove how your accident happened, the injuries you suffered and who was to blame. If you can’t supply this evidence, their insurer might refuse to pay. Therefore, if you have been injured in a shelving accident, steps that could help with any subsequent claim include:
- Reporting the incident to the company involved. An accident report form should be provided which could be used as evidence to show where and when your accident occurred.
- Have your injuries treated at a hospital or minor injuries unit. If you go on to make a claim, your medical records could be requested to prove the injuries you sustained.
- Ask anybody else who was present for their contact information. Witness statements might be collected by your solicitor if there is any doubt about liability for the accident.
- Take photographs at the accident scene. These can go some way to proving the reason your accident happened especially if they show the root cause before it has been removed or repaired.
- Ask for footage from any CCTV cameras covering the accident where you were injured. You are legally entitled to request a copy of CCTV footage of yourself but bear in mind that it’s not often retained for too long so you will need to act swiftly.
If you need any help obtaining evidence to support your claim, please get in touch. Your solicitor may have better luck than you if they write to the defendant formally.
You may already be aware that there is a 3-year time limit for accident claims in the UK. For shelving accidents, this will usually start on the date that you were injured. Although 3-years does seem to be a long time, there are several steps that need to be completed before your claim is submitted. Therefore, it’s usually better to begin the claim earlier rather than later.
If your child has been hurt in a shelving or racking accident, please refer to our page on claiming personal injury compensation for a child.
The time it takes for your claim to be finalised will vary on a few factors. If your injuries were minor and the defendant accepts responsibility for them straight away, you could be paid compensation within 6-months or so. However, if liability is denied or more time is needed to assess the impact of your injuries, claims can take more than a year. If your claim is accepted, your solicitor will let you know how long they expect it will be before your claim is settled.
If you have decided to claim compensation for a shelving-related injury, please call our team on 0800 6524 881 for a free review of your case. An advisor will talk with you about your claim and explain your chances of being compensated and how the process works.
Any injury claim taken on by one of our solicitors will be handled on a No Win No Fee basis. That means your solicitor can start working on your case without being paid upfront.
For more information on shelving accident claims, please connect to live chat or call our team today.