Can I claim compensation for being injured by collapsing shelf in a shop? I broke several ribs after a shelf fell on me, along with the products resting on it. Is the shop liable for my accident and injury?
Your entitlement to claim compensation for being injured by collapsing shelf in a shop will depend on the liability and negligence of the shop in which the accident occurred. At a glance, it may appear that liability lies with the shop. Any customer who visits a shop has the right to do so without fear of injury, and the shop must ensure that the environment is completely safe. If the shop has failed to ensure that the shelf was worthy of use or if employees had carelessly placed too much weight upon the shelf, this would be determined to be negligence and the shop could be held liable for your injury.
However it is possible that the shop — or their insurance company — may claim that the shelf collapse was not their fault. This could be the case if a customer had placed an object on the shelf shortly before the accident, making it too heavy and causing the collapse. If the shop employees did not have sufficient time to remove this risk, they may not be held liable for your injury. It could also be possible that your own actions — or inactions — contributed to the accident or the extent of your injuries, in which case your compensation could be reduced — perhaps significantly so.
Before initiating a claim to compensation for being injured by collapsing shelf in a shop, it is important that you first seek medical attention, not only to prevent deterioration of your injuries but also to create a record of the accident in your medical records. Following this you will be required to note your accident in the Accident Report Book of the shop, which can be used as evidence. You can then gather further evidence to support your claim, which should be done with the assistance of a personal injury solicitor. This evidence can include CCTV footage of the accident occurring, photographic evidence of the collapsed shelf and witness statements from fellow shoppers and employees who may have been present at the time.
Acquiring the services of a solicitor in order to support your claim is important not only to gather evidence, but to determine the strength of your claim and to establish the amount of compensation to which you may be entitled. It is important to remember that a time limit of three years exists in order to make a claim for compensation, and if you believe that you have a valid claim to compensation for being injured by collapsing shelf in a shop you should consult a personal injury solicitor at the earliest opportunity.