Shopping centres, or shopping malls as they are increasingly becoming known in the UK, are part of our everyday lives. Even in these times of online shopping, we still visit shopping malls in large numbers. In Wales, St David’s Dewi Sant shopping centre in Cardiff boasts around 180 shops, cafes, and restaurants and has an average visitor count of 40 million people annually.
Visiting a local shopping centre is one of the more accident-risk-free pastimes we could choose. However, shopping centre accident claims are more common than you may think.
What are the most common types of shopping centre accidents?
Here are some of the most common types of shopping centre accidents:
- Tripping accidents caused by wires left trailing across floors (e.g. by cleaners, workers, contractors etc.)
- Tripping on damaged flooring
- Slipping on over-polished floors
- Slipping on wet floors
- Slipping or tripping on mats near the entrance to the shopping centre
- Tripping over poorly fitted carpet or loose tiles that rise at the edges
- Falls on escalator accidents
- Accidents involving getting caught in shopping centre entrance doors
- Cuts and laceration injuries caused by sharp edges on shelves or other shop fittings
- Hit by falling objects from poorly stacked shelves
Slips, trips and falls are standard features of many shopping accident claims.
What types of injuries are commonly caused by shopping centre accidents?
Shopping centre accident claims comprise all types of accident circumstances. Therefore the kind of injuries suffered by visitors to shopping centres are also wide-ranging. Some of the more common injury types include:
- Brain injury (including concussion)
- Broken bones
- Lacerations and cuts
- Spinal injuries
- Ligament damage
Can I claim compensation if I suffer injury in a shopping centre accident?
You could be eligible for compensation if you get injured at a shopping centre, and it was not your fault.
An Act of Parliament called the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 helps to decide who is responsible for a shopping mall accident. It sets out by stating that occupiers (owners or landlords) of the premises owe a duty of care to their visitors, i.e., a duty to take reasonable care to ensure visitors are safe when on the premises.
Some examples of occupiers taking reasonable care may include:
- When there is spillage onto the floor, they have a system in place to clean up immediately
- Cleaning the shopping centre floor at the right time, using the best products and equipment for the job.
- Employ a system for spotting, flagging up, isolating and repairing damaged floors
- Make sure cleaning staff use electrical sockets close to where they are working. Doing this helps to prevent long trailing electric leads from becoming a tripping hazard.
Hundreds of shopping accidents occur annually due to a lack of reasonable care to protect visitors from harm.
Occupiers of shopping centres must also ensure they comply with any relevant Health and Safety Regulations that apply to them.
If I have a shopping accident, who will I claim against?
Who should you claim against if you get injured in a shopping centre accident? Will it be against the shopping centre or an individual store, or will it be against someone else? For instance, was the accident caused by contractors doing maintenance work in the shopping mall or store?
Whose negligence was responsible for the accident and any injuries you subsequently sustained?
The circumstances of the accident and where it took place will be essential factors in deciding against who you need to claim.
When selecting a personal injury solicitor to manage your case, ensure they have experience with ‘accidents in a public place‘ claims. They will investigate the circumstances of your accident to ensure they pursue your public liability claim against the right company.
How much compensation will I get for my shopping accident injury?
Your compensation claim will be for general damages for the injury (known as pain, suffering and loss of amenity) and special damages for your monetary losses.
The amount of compensation that will likely be awarded for general damages in your case will partly be worked out by looking at previous awards in similar cases.
Lawyers and judges also consider the guidelines set out by the Judicial College for injuries similar to yours. (See our blog, ‘What are the Judicial College Guidelines‘ for more on this topic).
You may also find our Personal Injury Compensation Calculator tool helpful.
In addition to general damages, you can claim special damages. These are monetary losses you have lost or incurred due to the accident. These include:
- Loss of earnings
- The cost of medication, prescription fees and travel expenses incurred in attending medical consultations
- Private physiotherapy or other rehabilitation fees, as long as they have been reasonably incurred.
- The cost of replacing clothing that was damaged in the accident.
What should I do if I’ve been injured in a shopping accident?
- Your immediate priority is getting treatment for your injuries by going to a hospital or visiting your GP.
- Ensure the accident is reported to the shopping centre management or the shop owners, depending on where you had the accident.
- Get details of any witnesses to the accident.
- If possible, get photos of the scene of the accident as soon as possible after it happened.
- If a friend or family member was with you at the time of the incident, ask them to take photos, get details of witnesses and report the accident on your behalf. In the meantime, you can concentrate on getting your injuries treated.
- In cases of serious injury, you are likely to be taken to hospital by the emergency services. Getting medical treatment for your injuries should be your primary concern. Collecting witness information or reporting the accident can be done later.
- Contact Mooneerams Solicitors
Why should I contact Mooneerams Solicitors?
Mooneerams are an award-winning firm of personal injury solicitors. We specialise in personal injury claims and only deal with personal injury claims.
Call Mooneerams on 029 2048 3615 to see if you have a valid claim. Your call will be free and confidential, and you are not obligated to do anything else unless you choose to.
We can usually take on shopping accident claims on a No Win, No Fee basis, and we’ll take the burden of dealing with the claims process from your shoulders whilst keeping you informed along the way. We always aim to achieve maximum compensation for our clients in shopping centre accident claims.