I fell off a broken chair in Starbucks, can I claim compensation for concussion and a sprained wrist?

It should be possible to recover injury compensation if you fell off a broken chair in Starbucks, as the coffee shop manager should not have allowed a broken chair to be used in the coffee shop.

Under the Occupier Liability Act (1957) the owner or occupier of a building that is open to the public must ensure that all visitors to the premises are kept reasonably safe. Any potential hazards which could cause an injury to a visitor should have been removed to reduce the risk of injury.

Before opening the store for business on the day of your accident, a routine inspection of the premises should have been conducted and the broken chair should have been noticed by the staff. A risk assessment should have taken place to determine if the chair was dangerous and since this was clearly the case it should have removed until repairs could be made.

By allowing a dangerous chair to be used, the manager will have failed in a duty of care to keep you safe while on the premises and this would be classed as negligence. Provided that you can prove that this was the case, you should be able to recover compensation for falling in Starbucks from the provider of its public liability insurance policy.

Proof of your injuries must be submitted with your claim for a fall in Starbucks which will come from your medical records, and it will need to be confirmed that the accident and injury occurred inside Starbucks. If you completed an accident book report at the time of the accident this will establish that you fell off a broken chair in Starbucks and sustained an injury. If you were unable to report the accident at the time, we recommend returning to Starbucks as soon as possible to make the report.

The accident book report should briefly summarise how you came to be injured by a broken chair, the date and time of the accident and your contact details. If there were any witnesses to the accident – either staff or customers – ideally you should mention this in the report. The insurance company of Starbucks will have access to the accident book report and if it is clear that fell off a broken chair in Starbucks and the accident was witnessed, it may help to elicit an offer of settlement from the insurer without having to make a claim.

When an accident has clearly resulted from negligence of the policy holder, it is not unusual for insurance companies to make an offer of settlement directly to the accident victim. The initial offer is rarely appropriate or for the full entitlement to compensation but it is a good starting point for negotiation. If you do receive an offer you should not accept before having it assessed for suitability by a personal injury lawyer.

A lawyer is in the best position to contact the insurance company directly and attempt to elicit a more appropriate offer of compensation for falling in Starbucks if it is not sufficient. If it is not possible to negotiate an appropriate settlement it may be in your best interests to reject the offer and make a claim for a fall in Starbucks. Your lawyer will file your claim on your behalf and will pursue your maximum entitlement to compensation. The threat of litigation may be all it takes to encourage the insurance company to make a much better offer.