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If you have been injured in a supermarket due to the negligence of the retailer then you may be eligible to claim public place injury compensation. Our Brisbane personal injury lawyers are experts in supermarket injury claims including slip and fall incidents.

Common causes of supermarket injuries

Slip and falls; especially in the fresh fruit and vegetable section and chilled produce sections where potentially slippery produce is more likely to fall onto the ground or leak.

  • Tripping on floor mats that have been misplaced.
  • Being hit by a trolley, or stocking carts
  • Items falling from shelves
  • Faulty automatic exit doors, or gates
  • Injuries from vehicles in car parks
  • Escalator, travelator, or lift injuries

Injured in a supermarket? If you were injured as a customer or employee at a supermarket due to the negligence of someone else, you may be entitled to compensation. Check with our Brisbane no win, no fee injury lawyers for free initial advice. We handle claims that occurred anywhere in the State of Queensland including the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Townsville and Cairns.

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Common supermarket injuries:

For staff working at a supermarket then common injuries can also include:

  • Cuts from box openers or blades/knives used in the bakery, fresh meat, or deli counters
  • Back injuries including herniated discs due to heavy lifting in the warehouse area or pushing carts from deliveries.
  • Falls from a height while working in the warehouse area and loading dock
  • Being struck by falling objects such as heavy boxes falling off storage shelves, pallets, or forklifts.
  • Nerve and muscle injuries due to repetitive action. Many supermarket roles such as cashiers, or packers perform the same actions repetitively
  • Vehicle injuries such as being hit by a car while collecting shopping trolleys, or serious injuries from delivery trucks in the loading bay.
  • Bodily injuries due to violence from customers or those seeking to steal goods or money from the store. Violence from customers has been seen on occasions such as major sales and in 2020 we saw increased violence against staff due to stock shortages during the Covid-19 pandemic.

What to do if injured in a supermarket as a customer

What should I do

Seeking medical attention should always be the main priority. However, if possible, you or someone with you should seek to do the following:

  • Take photos of the scene and get evidence - photos and video from your phone of the scene can be very helpful to show the surroundings that led to the accident. If you are able to get any witness contact details, then that can also be very helpful.
  • Report the incident to the store duty manager - This should be done as soon as possible to provide a written record of the incident and to ensure the stores can preserve Major supermarkets such as Woolworths, Coles, and Aldi have procedures in place to log incidents. Reporting the incident will also enable stores to save any relevant CCTV footage from the time around the incident which may be vital as evidence.
  • Request CCTV footage - Reporting the incident will also enable stores to save any relevant CCTV footage from the time around the incident which may be vital as evidence. You should ask to be sent a copy of the CCTV footage and make an in-writing request for them to preserve the footage.
  • Get ongoing medical care - If you did not feel a need for medical attention at the scene but realise in the following days that the injury is worse than you thought then you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
  • Seek legal advice - If you feel like the injury has the potential to cause significant impact such as loss of earnings then you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Our Brisbane supermarket injury lawyers can review your case for free and explain your options. If you do have a case, then having a law firm on board early can help secure all the needed evidence for a strong case.

What to do if injured while working as a supermarket employee

Seeking medical attention if needed should always be the priority. When possible, you can also do the following:

  • Report injury to your manager - the injury should be formally reported to your line manager or store manager. Make sure you update them after seeking medical attention on your injuries. It’s best to provide any updates in writing if possible, such as via email. You should also request CCTV footage be preserved for the timeframe of the incident to help as evidence.
  • Claim medical expenses and time off work - While most Queensland employees are covered by WorkCover QLD for work injury claims, the major supermarkets such as Coles and Woolworths have their own workers compensation insurance schemes. Regardless of fault, you should be able to open a claim to get much of your medical expenses and time needed off work covered.
  • Seek legal advice - If the injury is not one you are likely to make a full and quick recovery from then you should seek legal advice to discuss your rights to make a lump-sum workers compensation claim.

Can I claim compensation for a supermarket injury?

Retail stores and shopping centres, including supermarkets have a duty of care to provide a safe environment for their customers. However, no retailer can protect their customers from all potential injury risks.

Whether or not a claim can be made will hinge on proving the retailer was negligent and failed in their duty of care.

A claim may be possible if a retailer fails to follow health and safety procedures and an accident occurs in circumstances such as;

  • Failing to check and clean floors on a regularly
  • Failing to place warnings of wet floors after mopping, or known spills
  • Failing to position mats around entrances during wet weather
  • Pushing large stacking carts onto the aisle without proper supervision
  • Overstacking end of aisle displays with heavy items

Some possible examples where the retailer may be considered liable could include:

  • A customer slips and falls on a wet floor caused by a spill which happened half an hour ago. It could be considered that the retailer should have checked the floors within this time frame.
  • A worker pushes a fully loaded roll cage stocking trolley which is taller than themselves out onto the retail floor and causes injury by striking a customer with force. If the worker couldn’t see where they were going and failed to follow health and safety protocols then a claim may be possible.

Some examples where the retailer may not be negligent include:

  • A young child sitting in a trolley drops an opened yogurt pouch onto the floor. Another customer walking shortly behind steps on the leaking yogurt pouch and slips. The yogurt had only been on the floor for a few seconds and was not due to the actions of the store, as a result, the retailer is unlikely to be negligent.
  • A customer is injured in a car park due to another customer driving through the car park too fast and failing to stop at a marked pedestrian crossing. In this case, the supermarket is not at fault, but a motor vehicle injury claim could be brought against the CTP insurance of the at-fault driver.

How much compensation can I claim for a supermarket injury?

There is no set amount for a supermarket injury although there will be some fixed components for specific injuries.

However, most of the compensation amount will vary based on factors such as:

  • The severity of the injury
  • How quickly you recover
  • Past and future loss of earnings
  • Loss of superannuation
  • Medical and rehabilitation costs
  • Future care needs

Due to these factors, the same injury can result in very different compensation amounts. The financial impacts of a broken leg for example will vary depending on someone’s occupation and age. Our team can provide you with more insight into your specific situation when you contact us for a free and no-obligation case review.

Time limits for supermarket injury claims

Time limits

Time limits for public place injury compensation claims in Queensland are typically three years from the date of the incident.

There are some exceptions such as for those aged under 18 at the time of the incident. See more information on our personal injury time limits page.

However, a successful claim depends on proving negligence. Securing evidence such as reliable witness statements or CCTV footage may get harder with each day that passes from the incident. It is therefore recommended that you seek legal advice as soon as possible.

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