Can you tell me about bruise injury claims? My elderly mother tripped and fell in a supermarket refrigerator section where a leak had created a puddle. There was a warning sign but my mother did not see it.
It is possible to make bruise injury claims against the supermarket if the accident in which the bruises were sustained was due to the negligence on the part of a party who owed you a duty of care. The owners or managers of supermarkets would generally be responsible for making sure that all reasonable precautions are taken to prevent accidents from occurring on the premises for which they are in charge.
This duty of care covers the special requirements of elderly people and, as your mother did not see the warning sign, it may have been that the lettering on the sign was too small, that the sign itself was not positioned to ensure maximum visibility or it did not obey the standardised specifications. As well as that, there should have been a visible barrier around the puddle to indicate the hazard.
When bruise injury claims of this sort are being made, the circumstances surrounding the accident will most likely be investigated and the sign and/or barrier would require an evaluation to establish whether it would realistically be visible to those who could potentially have poorer eye-sight. Bear in mind, however, that if your mother had been prescribed spectacles but was not wearing them at the time of her accident, she may have to accept a degree of responsibility for the injuries she sustained. If she was found to be somewhat negligent, she would not be disqualified from seeking compensation but the amount she would have previously been eligible for – if the supermarket was 100 per cent at fault – may be reduced.
After an injury has been sustained there are also some standard procedures that should be carried out to support bruise injury claims. If your mother has not yet done so, she should have her injuries examined by a medical practitioner, to decrease the risk of worsening her injury. Additionally, her presence at a medical centre would be recorded in her medical history, which could help verify her potential claim for bruise injury compensation.
Your mother would be well advised in consulting with an experienced personal injury solicitor who can assess her claim and determine whether or not she has a compensation claim for a bruise injury that is worth pursuing.