Can I make a claim for tripping over electrical cable in a shop? I tripped over the cable of a vacuum cleaner while shopping, but the shop insists that I should have seen and heard the cleaning taking place. Is this correct?
You may have a valid claim for tripping over electrical cable in a shop if it can be proven that a third party has been negligent towards your health and safety. The fact that a cable was present in the shop means that a hazard would have existed — even if only for a short amount of time — and if the shop did not take appropriate measures to reduce the risk of injury to other customers (such as taping the cable to the floor) they may be liable for your injury. Even if some precautions were taken, it is still possible for an injury to occur which could be due to the negligence of another party.
Gathering evidence for a claim for tripping over electrical cable in a shop can be difficult. Especially with a vacuum cleaner, it is likely that following your accident the cable has been secured or removed entirely in order to prevent further accidents occurring. Because of this, gathering photographic evidence of the hazard that caused your accident may be complicated. However it is possible that the shop in question had other customers present who could verify that your accident had taken place or that the cable of the vacuum cleaner represented a health and safety hazard. It would be highly beneficial if you have obtained the contact details of any witnesses. CCTV footage, if available, can also help verify negligence.
There is a possibility that somebody else is liable for your injury. If a third party was performing the cleaning duties that led to your accident, it may be possible that they — rather than the shop — will be held liable for your accident. It is also possible that you contributed to your own injury if warning signs were clearly placed around the hazard but you failed to notice them or ignored them entirely. If you failed to acquire immediate medical attention this could also be seen as negligence on your own behalf. If you are partially responsible for your own injury, you might not necessarily be disqualified from claiming compensation. However the amount of compensation to which you may be entitled can be reduced. If you are in any doubt as to who is liable for your injury — or you have any further questions on seeking compensation — you are advised to consult a personal injury solicitor who can guide you through the process of making a claim for tripping over electrical cable in a shop.