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Published On: April 4, 2017 | Blog | 0 comments

Compensation for supermarket slip

You may have heard the saying “70 is the new 50”.  Some researchers at King’s College London claim that the most active people in their 70s are as fit as those in their 50s. Ageing does not have to bring poor health and frailty, for those who do regular exercise as instead they can see remarkable health benefits.

I recently acted for a client who could be typified as “ the new 50”. She was a very active lady in her seventies, who enjoyed dancing, exercising and power walking.  One day, whilst walking spritely with her grandson into a local supermarket, she unfortunately slipped on a clear liquid which was outside on the floor.

My client instructed us to pursue a claim against the supermarket shortly after her fall. A letter of claim was sent to the supermarket alleging that they had been negligent in failing to ensure the path to the supermarket was free from a slipping hazard and for their failure to ensure that adequate warning notices or signs were in place.  It was undeniable that the supermarket has been negligent and they therefore quickly conceded liability for the accident.

In order to assess the value of my client’s claim, I arranged a medical appointment for her to be examined by a consultant orthopaedic surgeon. In the expert’s opinion, my client had suffered injuries to her back, knee and hip which were short lived and likely to be fully resolved within 3 months of her accident. He stated that any symptoms after that period were due to her pre–existing degenerative condition even though she had not experienced any symptoms from this before the accident.

My client, being fiercely independent and an energetic lady for her age was more than reluctant to accept this opinion. I therefore arranged for her to see an alternative orthopaedic consultant who carried out a further examination.

The second expert’s opinion was much more favourable for my client because, whilst he appreciated her age, he was able to attribute much more of her ongoing symptoms to her accident. His opinion was that her accident had accelerated her pre–existing degenerative changes by at least 5 years.

In addition to the physical injuries sustained, my client also suffered psychological symptoms as a result of her inability to exercise and socialise, which she truly loved.  I arranged for her to have a significant number of sessions of cognitive behaviour therapy, which were of great assistance to her.

My client required care and assistance at home from her grandchildren and neighbours due to the difficulties she was experiencing as a result of her injuries. I therefore prepared a detailed schedule of financial loss which included help with domestic duties and personal care for a 5 year period.

Once all the relevant information was available, my client approved a settlement proposal, which I  put forward to the supermarket’s solicitors. After a short period of negotiation, we were able to reach an amicable settlement.

My client happily accepted damages of £33,000 to bring her claim to conclusion. Although she may not be able return to all her pre-injury activities, she is happy that her general level of fitness and agility was considered and made a real difference to her claim.

It is always important for solicitors to consider all the individual characteristics of the claimants that they represent, in order to secure the best possible outcome for them. They cannot afford to generalise or overlook a claimant’s pre–injury abilities just because of their age. Age is nothing but a number.

* Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*

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