If you have been injured in a shopping centre accident through no fault of your own you may have grounds to claim compensation. Liquid spills and wet floors are common examples of hazards in shopping centres but most injury victims do not always think of pursuing a claim simply because they aren’t aware of their legal options. Others do not consider claiming because they feel the accident was partly their fault.
In shopping centres, the centre’s management is responsible for ensuring that the premises are reasonably safe for all visitors. If you are injured in any no-fault accident in a shopping centre, you may be entitled to claim compensation. If you are partly at fault, you may still be able to claim compensation as the shopping centre management is considered ultimately responsible for visitors’ health and safety. The only difference is that the amount awarded to you may be reduced.
When Can You Claim Compensation For A Shopping Centre Accident?
You can make a personal injury claim for a shopping centre accident if you can provide sufficient evidence that your injury was caused because of negligence.
The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 holds the occupiers of premises responsible for providing their visitors with a safe environment. In a shopping centre, the management of the centre is considered as the occupier of the premise. If you get injured because the centre’s management failed in their duty of care, they may be considered liable for your injuries and could be ordered by the court to compensate you. If you decide to pursue a claim for compensation, you will be required to demonstrate that:
- The accident was caused because of someone else’s mistake or negligence.
- Your injuries were sustained in that particular accident and not some other accident that occurred elsewhere.
Common Injuries From Shopping Centre Accidents
Some of the more common types of shopping centre accidents causing injury that you can claim for are:
- Slips, trips and falls due to wet flooring, liquid spillage, torn carpeting or damaged flooring. It does not matter how the floor was wet or damaged, the centre management is responsible for drying the floor or fixing the damage as quickly as possible. In the meantime, they are required to put up adequate warning signs around the area.
- Bruises and fractures from heavy items falling from a high shelf in a shop or store, falling debris from ongoing maintenance work, or poor maintenance resulting in the roof or ceiling collapsing.
- Bruises and fractures from faulty lifts or escalators.
- Injuries from falling over crates or any other object placed carelessly around the shopping centre.
Of course, you are not limited to claiming only for the accidents listed. The shopping centre management could be liable for any accident on their premises that result from their negligence. If you are unsure whether you are entitled to compensation for your shopping centre accident, you should contact us today to determine your rights.
How A Personal Injury Solicitor Can Help
A personal injury solicitor will do more than just help you understand your right to claim compensation for a shopping centre accident. If you have strong evidence supporting your claim, most personal injury solicitors will go one step further and help you get the compensation due to you without asking for any upfront fees. This is known as a No Win No Fee agreement.
Personal injury solicitors understand the physical pain, mental stress and financial losses that can stem from getting injured in a shopping centre accident. The No Win No Fee agreement was established to help make it easier for accident victims to receive due compensation even while they are recovering from their injuries. When you instruct a personal injury solicitor to represent you, they will make sure that the case is filed in court before the 3-year due date for filing such claims.
Another huge benefit of having a personal injury solicitor is that they have access to legal libraries that can be used to research precedents in order to determine the maximum amount of compensation that you can claim for. They also have access to medical professionals who can provide their expert testimony as to the severity of your injuries and the treatment required.
Filing A Shopping Centre Accident Claim
Proving fault for a shopping centre accident can be challenging, especially if there is an absence of solid evidence. There are certain things you can do to help your solicitor build a solid case in your favour.
- Inform a staff member about the accident and get them to call an ambulance if you are badly injured.
- Every shopping centre is required to keep an accident book on the premises for recording any untoward incidents that occur in the centre. Make a written report in this accident book with details about exactly what happened, when and how it happened.
- Get the name and contact details of the staff members who helped you as well as any other shoppers or bystanders who have may have witnessed the incident. Getting witness statements can make a huge difference to the success of your claim.
- If you are carrying a camera or a mobile phone with camera, use it to get photographs of your injuries as well as photographs of the scene where the accident occurred, with special focus on the exact cause of the accident. These pictures of the scene can provide substantial proof that the shopping centre management was negligent in their duty of care and this negligence caused the accident.
- Today almost all shopping centres have CCTVs installed on their premises. If any of the cameras captured the incident, get a copy of the footage. A personal injury solicitor can use this to strengthen your case.
How Much Compensation For A Shopping Centre Accident?
There is no one specific amount of compensation that is applied to anybody who gets injured in a shopping centre accident. The amount of compensation you can expect will depend largely on the severity of your injuries, your medical and other actual costs and any loss of income and amenities resulting from the accident. You will need to submit receipts and other documentation to show actual expenses for your medical treatment so those expenses can be refunded to you.
When putting together your shopping centre accident claim, you solicitor will make sure to ask for the maximum amount that you are entitled to.