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Slip and Falls in Supermarkets and Shopping Centres

Have you suffered an injury as a result of a slip and fall in a supermarket or shopping centre? We can help you investigate whether or not you can claim compensation.

Shopping centres and supermarkets have a duty of care to customers to ensure the premises are kept clean and safe. Unfortunately, too often customers are injured due to poor cleaning practices resulting in spills which are easy to slip on and cause injury.

In the High Court decision of Strong v Woolworths Ltd [2012] HCA 5, Katherine Strong sued Woolworths Ltd (and another party) for compensation as a result of injuries caused by slipping and falling on a hot chip on their premises. Katherine Strong argued that Woolworths Ltd had been negligent because at the time they had failed to have a proper system of cleaning in place.

The High Court found that Woolworths Ltd had been negligent for failing to ensure a proper system of cleaning was in place. The High Court also said that a system of cleaning and inspection within a 15-20 minute rotation would have been sufficient and was likely to have prevented the incident from occurring.

As a result of this decision, cleaning contractors, shopping centres and supermarkets all attempt to ensure that a system of cleaning and inspection is maintained at a 15-20 minute rotation. In order to prove negligence, it must be shown that this system has not been followed and that the spill had been on the floor for a sufficient period to find a party negligent for failing to clean it sooner.

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What does this mean for my case and how can I find out whether I have a claim for compensation?

Ardent Lawyers may be able to assist you to investigate your case against a supermarket or shopping centre on a “no win no fee” basis. This means that if we investigate your case and find that the supermarket or shopping centre had a proper system of cleaning and inspection in place at the time of your incident, you do not have to pay us for the work that we have done.

To determine whether you have a case, Ardent Lawyers will write to the supermarket or shopping centre and confirm that we act for you and request that they provide us with information about their cleaning system, inspection records, CCTV footage and any incident report. This information will help us to determine whether the cleaning system was sufficient and in place at the time of your fall.

Some important things you should do if you suffer an injury as a result of a slip and fall in a supermarket or shopping centre:

  • Take photos of the incident site.
  • Ensure any CCTV footage of the incident (preferably 1 hour before until 1 hour after) is stored and kept.
  • Record the names and contact details of any witnesses to the incident.
  • Attend your local GP or hospital to record your injuries and undertake any recommended treatment.
  • Record your incident on an incident report form.
  • Undertake MRI scans of any injured body parts.

Ardent Lawyers are personal injury / compensation law experts. Contact our law firm to discuss your case on (02) 4444 6808 or contact@ardentlawyers.com.au.