Thankfully, most supermarkets and grocery stores a well maintained. However, there is still a duty of care that supermarkets have to their occupants due to the risks that arise in their natural course of business:
- Produce can easily fall into aisles for people to slip on
- Freezers and spilled containers can leak liquids onto the floor
- Food poisoning from expired goods or other kinds of product liability
- Injuries from heavy products on overhead shelves, moving and stationary equipment, etc.
- Lack of, or improperly placed floor mats in the entrances or exits or in the frozen foods aisle can lead to slips
- Lacerations from damaged shopping carts
- Defective automatic doors
- Aisle obstructions from boxes, pallets, food, cleaning products, etc.
- Unmaintained pavement within the store property
What is a Duty of Care?
A duty of care is a legal obligation in Queensland to make sure that their business premises is safe from harm.
This legal standard does not mean EVERY kind of harm. It applies to harm that is reasonably foreseeable.
For example: “Should the grocery store have known about this kind of risk and prevented it?”
A supermarket breaches their duty of care when it fails to protect their consumers from undue, foreseeable harm. This results in the supermarket and its owners becoming liable and potentially responsible for bearing the costs to compensate anyone injured due to an accident caused by their negligence.
What can a Queensland Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me Be Compensated For?
- Present and future medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Out of pocket expenses for medicines or other necessities such as housekeeping, attendant care, property maintenance, etc.
- Present and future wages that have been lost due to the accident
- Pain and suffering
- Gratuitous care such as caregiving provided by family members or friends
How do I prove my claim?
It is up to you to prove that the supermarket is negligent. The burden is on the victim of an accident to prove their claim in court on a balance of probabilities.
This is a hard standard to meet and it is highly recommended that you leave this determination to an accredited specialist in personal injury.
What do I do if I have been injured in a supermarket?
Contact the manager & fill out an accident report
MAKE SURE to tell management about the accident and and filling out an incident report. This can severely affect your legal rights later on when you are trying to prove your claim.
It is also advisable that you get a copy of the incident report for your own records as well.
Make sure you document as much as possible
A Queensland personal injury claim can take a long time to resolve in most cases and it is likely that you may forget details of the accident.
Try to record as much information of the accident and your injuries if possible such as:
- Photos of the accident scene, your immediate injuries and the causes of the accident.
- The names and contact information of any potential witnesses (including staff) who were there when the accident happened.
Make sure you get medical care if necessary
If you believe you are seriously injured, tell the supermarket staff to contact emergency services.
If the injuries are not too serious, then get a proper assessment of your injuries as soon as possible through your general practitioner or family doctor.
Do NOT try to assess the injuries yourself. You risk aggravating your injury, as well as compromising your legal rights if you fail to take reasonable care of yourself in the circumstances.
Keep all medical records and bills, receipts and lost wages
One of the best advantages of retaining a lawyer is that they will undertake to get all of the necessary documentation to prove your claim.
Yet, it is always helpful to collect copies of your medical records, bills, receipts and other expenses caused from the accident and injury. If you lost time off work, then keeping a record of your missed shifts is also invaluable to proving your claim.
What shouldn’t I do if I have been injured in a supermarket?
Most people’s first instinct after being injured in an accident is to get up and walk away as quickly as possible because they become embarrassed or they may put self-blame for the accident without completely knowing the circumstances of that accident. They may also forget to file an accident report.
These are all bad mistakes.
Adrenaline is often pumping right after an accident and it may mask your pain and symptoms. You may not feel any pain immediately after the accident, but many people report their symptoms a few days later after the accident. These symptoms could include everything from soft tissue injuries, whiplash symptoms, and even psychological injuries such as stress, depression, phobia or anxiety.
Do not assume that everything is your fault right away. First speak to a personal injury lawyer who is also an accredited specialist in personal injury.
East Coast Injury Lawyers Can Help
We are happy to provide you with a free, no obligation legal consultation so that you can be given some important initial legal advice at NO RISK. Simply call us at 1300 720 544 or fill out our case review form.