I want to make a claim for slipping in a Starbucks cafe on a wet floor. What do I need to do in order to claim compensation for a sprained ankle?

Before you can claim for slipping in a Starbucks cafe you must make sure that you receive medical attention for your injury. Your health must be your number one priority. It is also important that your injury is documented in your medical records as they will be used to support your claim as proof that an injury was sustained in the accident.

It must also be established that your injury resulted from a failure in a duty of care of the staff in Starbucks to keep you safe while on the premises and the accident was caused by the negligence of the staff. When you visit a Starbucks coffee shop you are owed a duty of care under the Occupier Liability Act and the manager must ensure the premises are safe so that visitors are not placed at an excessive risk of sustaining an injury.

A wet floor is a serious slip hazard and the staff must be particularly attentive to spillages and other slip hazards on the floor. The coffee shop should be inspected frequently and if a spillage is identified it should be cleaned immediately. If it is not possible or practical to do so a wet floor warning sign should be used to warn customers of the risk of slipping. In an ideal world the staff should have cleaned immediately; however the duty of care owed to customers is not absolute. This means that the staff must be allowed a reasonable amount of time to identify a spillage and to arrange cleaning.

Whether a claim for slipping in a Starbucks cafe will be possible may depend on the whether the staff had been given sufficient time to inspect the floor and identify the spillage. If it was not reasonable to have expected the staff to have taken action to remove the hazard in time to prevent your accident, it will not be possible to claim compensation for a slip and fall in Starbucks.

If Starbucks used CCTV cameras in its coffee shops it would be straightforward to establish the length of time that a spillage was present on the floor prior to the accident. Unfortunately at the time of writing the use of CCTV cameras is not widespread. It may therefore be problematic establishing that a duty of care was breached and staff negligence was the reason why you slipped and fell in Starbucks.

Because claims for slips and falls have potential to be complicated we recommend seeking legal assistance with your claim for compensation for a slip and fall in Starbucks from a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer will help to establish if a duty of care has been breached and whether under the circumstances the staff should have prevented your accident from occurring. A lawyer will then prepare the strongest possible claim to maximise the probability of you recovering compensation for your injury.

One important step to take before contacting a lawyer is to make sure that the accident and your injury is recorded in the coffee shop’s accident book. This report will establish that you slipped and fell in Starbucks and sustained and injury and the report can be used to support your claim.