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Accident Compensation Claim. Thoughts and experience? Long story

(10 Posts)
aznerak Sun 27-Jul-08 13:35:03

Hi there

My daughter had an accident in a well known, high street shop on Monday afternoon last week on an escalator.

I hadn't even thought about making a claim against them until we received a letter from their Head Office yesterday.

So, this is what happened:

She is 3yrs old and was standing beside me, being very well behaved.

On the escalator, there are brushes either side down the length of the escalator. Near the bottom, where the brushes end, there is a plastic ledge. As we were going down the escalator, as her feet are so small, her foot got caught between the moving step and the ledge. When we reached the bottom, her foot was then stuck under the ledge, with the force of the escalator pushing her foot against the teeth grills. Her foot temporarily jammed the escalator until I freed her foot.

She started screaming as the pressure of the escalator on her foot increased and I rapidly pulled her free. She was still crying and screaming so I removed her shoe and it had already started bruising and swelling up.

I quickly picked her up, carried her to customer services to request an icepack to try and limit the swelling/bruising.

The security guard wouldn't give us an icepack as if he did, it would then mean we have no comeback on the store as we were taking responsibility. Instead, he called the first aider, got us a chair to sit on and called an ambulance (he was worried that as children have so many small bones in their feet, she could have done some more serious damage).

Whilst we were waiting for the ambulance, the store recorded details of the accident in the accident book and they gave my DD a carton of ribena and a packet of smarties (free of charge).

The ambulancemen were brilliant and checked her foot and recommended going to A&E for a thorough check up.

They took us to A&E and it was xrayed.

They said it was sprained, bruised with soft tissue damage but no breaks/fractures.

She wasn't able to wear shoes at all until Friday. She can now fit crocs on, but only just, despite them being very loose normally.
She hasn't been able to walk on it until yesterday and although she has started to walk on it, she is still in pain and limping.

So, yesterday, we received a letter from their head office branch, acknowledging the accident and saying that they don't want this accident to deter us from shopping there again.

They then went on to say as a gesture of goodwill, they have arranged for my daughter to receive some Early Learning vouchers to make up for "the upset and distress this may have caused your daughter".

Of course, the letter is clearly marked WITHOUT PREJUDICE.

I showed it to a friend of ours who immediately thought that by sending this letter without any reason (I haven't been in touch with them at all other than filling in the accident book at the time of the accident) they are scared of what we can do.

Should I be following this up with one of those Accident-Direct type companies to try and gain compensation or do I accept the vouchers and just let it go.

I am not someone who generally believes in blame culture, but at the same time, if people think this is a genuine case, then we will persue it.

Please give me your thoughts!

bythepowerofgreyskull Sun 27-Jul-08 13:40:35

I would be tempted to contact a solicitor and ask advice.
your poor daughter you must have both been terrified!

tink123 Sun 27-Jul-08 13:40:54

what a scary experience!!!

If it was me, i would not pursue a claim. The store acted appropriately and fairly.

However that is me. If you feel you want to take it further, you could always get a free no obligation consultation.

pickie Sun 27-Jul-08 13:46:11

I personally would wait to see if she will have no long term damage (need physio or something like that) that would cost you money.

if not I would accept the vouchers and have a good time spending them with your DD.

gaining compensation could be a lengthy process and can be very emotional draining

aznerak Sun 27-Jul-08 13:57:53

Thanks for getting back to me.

It wouldn't have occured to be to claim but I have to say, receiving a letter when I haven't yet even thought about getting in touch with them was rather surprising, especially when they have offered vouchers.

My friend (she was here when it arrived) said immediately that from the tone of the letter, she feels they are scared about what we might do???

Hence me now asking this question

Still not sure, will prob just let it go but thanks for the thoughts.

laughalot Sun 27-Jul-08 14:14:54

I would go for the claim option to be honest. They are scared hence the vouchers. Your dd could have been badly injured dont let this go without a fight.

Christie Sun 27-Jul-08 14:27:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mablemurple Sun 27-Jul-08 14:49:06

Your poor dd! Glad to hear that the damage was not serious. However, am a bit hmm by the attitude of your friend that the shop is "scared" about what you might do?? Surely it is just good customer relations to write to you and to offer your dd the vouchers? Would you have preferred it if they had just ignored the accident?
Obviously you can try to pursue them for compensation, but if you use one of these no win no fee type of companies you will have to pay up front for insurance against your claim failing, it will not be a quick process as there will have to be an investigation into the exact circumstances of the accident (was your dd standing too close to the edge of the escalator?) and as others have said it will be emotionally very draining. If the escalator was not faulty, I don't see how your claim could succeed, anyway (but I'm not a lawyer!).

tink123 Sun 27-Jul-08 16:27:17

another thing is consider is that your dd may have to go through medical appts with the insurance company's doctor etc...

bonkerz Sun 27-Jul-08 16:34:27

my DS had an accident in a large pet store when he was 3. A blue pallet which had been stood on its side fell on him as we walked past it and he had a cut across his nose and a nose bleed, 2 days later he was still suffering with nose bleeds so we went to the doctors who said he had burst blood vessels in his nose due to the accident. We wrote a leter to head office who offered DS £500 in compensation which we accepted. Write back to head office and explain how much pain and worry this has caused, they will probably offer more TBH. I wouldnt persue through solicitor though.

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