Can a claim for slipping on coffee on office floor be made against my employer — even if he was not directly responsible? I broke my leg, which resulted in missing six weeks of work.
As long as a third party was responsible for your accident, you should be able to initiate a compensation claim for slipping on coffee on office floor against your employer. In order to do so however, it must be verified that your employer had failed in his duty of providing a safe environment in which to work, that the coffee was present on the floor of the office for an unacceptable period of time before it was cleared up and that the cleaning staff failed to remove the hazard in question.
Small amounts of coffee usually evaporate quickly and therefore it is highly unlikely that this caused your injury. For this reason it must be assumed that a large spill caused your injury, should have immediately been identified as a hazard and swift action taken in order to clear it up. Because of this, the colleague who caused the spillage would have neglected to provide a safe working environment for other team members, and you may therefore be entitled to compensation.
So why is your employer liable for your claim for slipping on coffee on office floor, and not your colleague? There is the possibility that your employer did not assess spilled coffee to be a risk to health and safety in the office. It may have occurred that he did not provide adequate training to your colleague, who did not view spilled coffee as an injury risk to other employees. Or perhaps your employer failed to alert staff to identify possible hazards in the workplace, such as the spillage upon the floor.
It is possible that your employer or their insurance company may contest your claim for slipping on coffee on office floor, which is why you should contact a personal injury solicitor at the earliest opportunity. While initiating a claim for spilled coffee may not be easy, it is often necessary in order to compensate for medical expenses or for lost income. Your personal injury solicitor can assess the strength of your claim, represent the case on your behalf and determine the amount of compensation to which you may be entitled. This will be important should you receive an offer of compensation directly from the insurance company of your employer. This may be enticing — particularly if your financial situation is of concern — but you are advised not to accept such offers until your solicitor has been consulted. Should you accept an offer of compensation which is inadequate (which is a likely scenario), you cannot return and ask for more. For this reason a personal injury solicitor should be contacted without delay.