Q: My Grandfather, who is eighty-three years old, was out shopping when he was hit by a sliding door as he was entering a shop, causing him to fall and break his arm. Whilst he may not be as fast a walker as he used to be, we cannot understand why the door didn’t have some kind of sensor which recognised the fact that he had not completed entry into the shop. How can this sort of thing happen and would it be possible for him to make a claim?
A: Accidents involving sliding doors are becoming more and more common these days. As you might expect, those who are affected are more often than not the elderly, the disabled and the young. The doors appear to be set up for the able bodied with no consideration being given for those who are not so quick in moving about the place or who may not act as sensibly as you might expect.
The timings on these doors are usually set at the instruction of the shop. There will be maintenance contracts with sliding door engineers. Often shops may be more concerned about keeping the heat in the shop rather than looking at the safety issues.
It would be perfectly reasonable to put in a personal injury claim here. Primarily it would be direct to the shop but they will no doubt seek to involve the maintenance company to whom they will have delegated this responsibility and a Personal Injury Lawyer acting on your grandfather’s behalf would need to be persistent. It may be necessary to obtain engineering evidence about the timings on the door and also an analysis of the maintenance records but such a claim should succeed. You should consult a local Solicitor with experience in these matters as soon as possible.