20th March 2020
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Question: I was shopping in Superdrug when I slipped on food another customer had dropped on the floor. I injured my back and had to take two weeks off work. Can I make a compensation claim?
Answer: Slipping on food in a health and beauty store can lead to serious injuries with lasting consequences. Slips and trips accidents account for the largest number of injury claims against retailers, and Superdrug, Holland and Barrett, Boots, The Perfume Shop and The Body Shop must take all reasonably practicable steps to prevent these accidents from occurring.
While customers should not litter when shopping, retailers should be aware that some people will do so, and that this will create slip and trip hazards. Therefore, they should ensure staff regularly check the aisles for dropped food and other litter and clean these hazards up quickly. This means that in some cases, slips on food in shops may be caused by the negligence of a company or its employees, and in cases like this, the victim can make a compensation claim. However, negligence is not always to blame for these accidents – in some cases, it could be argued that the health and beauty store could not reasonably have been expected to have cleaned up the mess before the accident happened – for instance, if someone dropped food and you immediately slipped over it a few seconds later, then the company might not be held liable for this accident.
To support your compensation claim, you should report the accident to the health and beauty store and ensure they keep a record of your report. Ask them for a copy and present this report to your solicitors. Take photographs of the food you slipped on and the scene of the accident to provide evidence for your Superdrug accident claim. Visit a doctor and have your injuries assessed, treated and noted in your medical records.