Accidents in a public place can happen anywhere and at any time. Although you may not have ventured into many shops as of late, apart from food stores, if you are decided to visit a retail store when they were re-opened, there is always the chance that something could go wrong. Even the safest buildings still have their faults and you could get yourself involved in an accident. Not only that, but if a public place has not installed social distancing features that could protect both the public and employees, there is a high chance that Covid-19 could be spread between people. That is why it is your responsibility to stay as safe as possible when you are out in public.
If something does happen, then you have the opportunity to ask for compensation from the party responsible for your injuries. Should the public place be a retail store, then the business itself will need to pay out from their insurance to help with your recovery.
Gowing Law Solicitors know exactly how to help claimants who have experienced accidents in a public place. These types of accidents can happen suddenly and may leave you in a state of shock. That’s why you need the correct form of legal counsel. Some people may just shake off the injury as an unlucky action of fate. But we would say otherwise. We can help you prove it was due to the retail store’s negligence.
Accidents in a public place claims: What are they?
In order to understand more about accidents in a public place claims, in particular in retail stores, it is important that we understand a little more about shop injuries. If you have suffered from an injury in a store, the only way you are going to be able to claim compensation is if you prove that the store breached their “duty of care” towards you and your fellow customers. Most stores in the UK now have strict social distancing policies put in place to protect their customers. These include:
- Wearing face masks/visors when inside the store.
- Maintaining social distancing from other customers and store clerks.
- Following the one-way system around the store.
- Not touching items unless you are going to purchase them.
- Using hand sanitizer and other germ disinfectants.
However, despite these safety measures, accidents can still happen. A lot of things can happen during the day and potential hazards may be missed or simply left unmarked by staff members by mistake. Take a look below at Harry’s story for a small example of what could happen in a retail store that may result in an accident:
How does this case-study show my eligibility?
Obviously, you are probably not in the same scenario as Harry. But you do have the right to feel safe in a retail store. If you look at Harry’s story, you can see that the store he was in was negligent in informing him of the hazard on the ground. Therefore, he had no idea that he was in danger when he walked down the aisle. The lack of safety preparation put Harry in an unsafe position and got him hurt. This is evidence that he could claim for damages.
To put things simply, you need to prove:
- The store you went into was negligent and breached their “duty of care”.
- You were hurt because of this breach and their negligence.
If you have been put into a similar position in a retail store, you could easily apply for compensation for your damages. But the main question is, what counts as damages? These are a little more complicated than just saying you suffered physical injuries.
Compensation Claims 101: General & Special Damages
Take another look at the Harry case study. If you look closely, you can see that there are more damages than just his physical injury (aka. his torn Achilles tendon). Not only did he have to visit the hospital, where he could have accumulated medical expenses, but he lost out on his wages because he could not go to work. Not only could Harry claim for his physical damages, he could also claim for his financial losses.
If you are claiming for damages then there are two types you claim for. These are known as general and special damages. General damages normally account for your pain and suffering. They are the most common type of damages but can be difficult to measure. After all, you are trying to prove how much you have suffered on account of your injuries. How can you prove this if other people cannot feel it? That’s why it is useful to have physical evidence of your suffering to back up your claims, including photos, witness statements and videos.
Special damages usually account for any financial losses made due to your accident. So, for instance, if you were forced to miss work and lose out on wages. Make sure to keep the receipts to prove any financial losses that you have made.
Just to keep it simple, here is a list of most of the things you can claim for if you have suffered from any type of accidents in a public place:
Damages may include:
- Physical injuries
- Emotional trauma
- Medical expenses
- Transport fees
- Lost wages
- Loss of opportunity (i.e. career progression because of your injuries)
Make sure to speak with a trained legal specialist to ensure that you know precisely what you are claiming for. You may feel a little confused about what count as damages and losses. Therefore, having a solicitor on your side from Gowing Law can help you understand your rights and what you could be owed to help you recover from your injuries.
Physical injuries and accidents in a public place
Before we talk about how you could claim for any type of losses in a public place, or in a store, it’s important to understand the type of physical injuries you may have encountered. One of the most common questions we received about any sort of claim, including work accidents claims, is ”how bad does my accident need to be to claim damages?”
Most people would assume that to make an accident in a public place claim, you would need to have a severe wound that would require hospital treatment. However, you can actually claim with any sort of small or large wound. If it happened due to the store’s negligence, you can easily claim for compensation. But the other thing you also need to consider is whether or not it is worth pursuing a claim. If you do not think you will get the return you expect based on the severity of your injury, it is not worth pursuing. For instance, if you cut your finger on a display, you probably won’t get a large amount of compensation in return unless the wound got infected or the wound was extremely deep.
Consider the costs of the claim vs the amount of money you would estimate to get out of the claim. If you think you could get a bigger return, it is worth pursuing compensation. Discuss this with a solicitor if you are feeling a little unsure about moving forward. They can estimate your total costs and let you know an estimated pay-out.
What evidence do I need to make a compensation claim?
If you have been hurt due to accidents in a public place or in a store, you may be considering how you can prove your claim. You can’t just state that you were hurt. Instead, you need to bring in solid evidence to show that you were hurt due to the store owner’s negligence. Here are some examples of the evidence you could use if you want to get a successful compensation claim.
As you can see, there are lots of ways that you can gather evidence. However, one important thing you may want to also consider is involving the police. If there has been a violent altercation, or perhaps the injury is extremely severe, having the police there can give you witnesses that will provide you with a police report. This police statement will be completely unbiased and will document everything that happened. It can serve as important evidence in any sort of case.
If you also want to prove that you suffered financial damages on account of your accidents in a public place injuries, you should keep as many of your receipts as possible. Whenever you are forced to spend something due to your injuries, for instance on medication or on transport to the hospital, keep the receipts or tickets that show how much you paid. That way you can put these costs together and show that small financial losses have built up.
The more evidence you have the stronger your case will be. Your lawyer can help you organize your evidence to show how badly you were effected by your injury. That way you will have a successful pay-out in no time!
Can I claim compensation for catching Covid-19 from a store?
Unfortunately, this is where things get complicated. Covid-19 has changed the entire world as we know it. We have experienced pandemics before but never to the extent of how this disease has affected how we view the world. Most people are frightened about going out to public places in fear that they will catch Covid-19. So, if you have unluckily gone in to a store and have found that you have developed symptoms a few days later, you may be considering how you can claim compensation.
The tricky part comes from the fact that you cannot actually make a claim on catching Covid-19 alone. Not only do you have to prove that caught it from the store specifically but that you did not catch it from somewhere else that you have visited. If you do want to make a claim, it will have to be in regards to the damages it leaves you with. So, if you lost out financially or suffered physical injuries or disabilities that reduced your quality of life, there is a chance you could make a compensation claim.
As you can see, this is a very complicated issue in UK law right now. It is not worth pursuing this type of claim alone. Instead, ask our Gowing Law solicitors for advice on whether or not you should consider making a claim. They can let you know more information about your options and how you could move forward. Feel free to write in to email@example.com if you have any questions about this. We understand that it can be quite confusing!
Are you ready to make a compensation claim for an accident in a public place?
If you are ready to make a compensation claim, Gowing Law Solicitors are here to make sure that you get the pay-out that you deserve. All of our lawyers can offer you free help and consultations to get you started. These can all be done remotely to make sure that there is no threat of Covid-19. If you do decide to work with us, we can offer our services on a “no win-no fee” basis. That means that you will always come out on top. There’s no risk, so what is stopping you from contacting us today?
Get ready to start your journey with Gowing Law Solicitors. Call us on 08000418350, email firstname.lastname@example.org or even use our live chat feature and our contact page. Our friendly team will then be in contact to answer any additional questions you may have about accidents in public places claims.
Ready to learn more about UK law?
We are proud to have an informative blog that has a number of articles about different legal topics. These can keep you informed about the latest law updates and specific compensation claims. Our blogs cover RTA claims, work accidents, public accidents, financial mis-selling and cosmetic negligence claims. If you cannot find a topic that interests you, why not let us know about it? We would be happy to write about any questions you want covered. Feel free to send in your suggestions to email@example.com.
We look forward to hearing from you soon.