Slips and trips can have devastating consequences and, if you are a victim of such an accident and believe someone else was to blame, you should seek legal advice without delay. In a recent case reviewed by Jonathan Leach, a mother who did just that after slipping on the damp floor of a supermarket cafeteria secured the right to substantial compensation.
The woman had hold of her child’s hand and was walking towards the café’s counter when her feet went from beneath her. She fell heavily on her right side, suffering painful injuries, and was driven to hospital by a member of the café’s staff. Proceedings were launched on her behalf against the supermarket chain that owned the premises and the contractor who was responsible for the café’s day-to-day management.
Ruling in her favour, a judge noted that the accident occurred on a vinyl floor at a point close to a refrigerated drinks unit. Over a period of less than two years, there had been 10 slipping accidents recorded in the café and expert evidence established that the floor was extremely slippery when even slightly damp.
The probability was that, unbeknown to the mother, there was water or moisture on the floor, which the judge found was the direct cause of the accident.
Given the frequency of previous slipping accidents in the café, the judge expressed disappointment that there was no evidence that replacing the floor or other remedial action was considered at managerial level. Because of that inertia, and their failure to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of visitors to the café, the supermarket chain and the contractor bore equal responsibility for the mother’s accident. If not agreed, the amount of her compensation will be assessed at a further hearing.
If you have been injured in a trip, slip or fall, you may be entitled to compensation.