Everyday people throughout Miami-Dade County and the rest of Florida make trips to supermarkets and grocery stores of all varieties and sizes. Whether you are visiting a large chain grocery store like Publix or Whole Foods or a small gas station convenience store, wet, sticky or uneven floors are a common hazard because of spilled drinks, jars that fall from shelves and water tracked in during a rainstorm.
Slip and fall lawsuits can be challenging because subtle distinctions in the evidence can have a major impact on the case in terms of proving actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition or establishing that the hazard was not one that should have been obvious to a shopper. Since Miami grocery store slip and fall accident lawsuits require extensive investigation and persuasive presentation of the facts, your selection of a Florida personal injury lawyer with experience handling supermarket slip and falls can significantly impact your settlement or verdict.
Legal Standards in Florida Slip and Fall Lawsuits
Whether you fall at Costco, Wal-Mart or Winn-Dixie, your Florida premises liability attorney will have to gather evidence to demonstrate that the company knew or should have known of the unsafe condition on the premises. The hazard must constitute an unreasonable risk of harm to those who come on the premises, and it cannot be an unsafe condition that a reasonable person would have anticipated. Hazards that patrons should anticipate generally refer to open and obvious hazards that a reasonable person would have noticed and avoided. We have handled many such cases. One that stands out involved our client who fell in a Publix on muddy water between the fish counter and the deli case. We investigated the case and found that in that particular Publix there was no mat in the employee opening from behind the counter to the main store. What we discovered was that other Publix stores with the same design had such a mat. Without the mat, employees working behind the fish counter where there was water in use and on the floor, carried itonto the area where customers walked. Our client fell, fractured her shoulder and needed surgery. We were able to obtain a substantial recovery for her.
The owner of a retail or discount grocery store can prove knowledge of the defendant in several ways that include:
• The property owner engaged in inadequate efforts to remedy the unsafe condition.
• The conduct of the owner caused the hazard.
• The dangerous condition occurs with such regularity that it was foreseeable.
• The duration of time the hazard was present was sufficient for a reasonable owner of the premises to have discovered and rectified the problem.
Another common way that negligence may be proven in a grocery store trip and fall or slip and fall involves a violation of a public safety standard by the owner of the business premises. The store may violate applicable safety codes like fire codes because of cords strewn across walkways or building if walkways with steps are not equipped with railings. Our Miami grocery store accident attorneys carefully investigate the scene of a fall resulting in serious injury to identify violations of safety codes that may justify imposing liability on the property owner.
The conduct of the property owner also needs to be evaluated to determine if it conformed to the standard of a reasonable property owner. This may include the creation of store policies for inspection and maintenance of bathrooms, walkways and other common areas. Even if the property owner has policies for conducting inspections to prevent falls caused by merchandise in the aisles or spills, inspection of the store’s records or video footage might reveal that the store failed to comply with its own maintenance policies and standards.
IMPORTANT TIP: In each and every case our office handles we make it a practice to go over each and every complaint our client has from the top of their head to the bottom of their feet. We do this because patients fail to tell their physician all of their complaints, thinking that what they are feeling is not related to the injuries received in their case. We are not doctors but we explain to the client to let the doctor know because he/she may feel that there is a relation. For example, a person complaining of lower back pain may not tell their doctor that they are having tingling or numbness in their leg. By telling the doctor this, they can examine the patient and determine the cause of the complaint.
Miami Grocery Store Accident Attorneys Pursuing Maximum Compensation for Trip and Falls
If you are in a public space or a visitor on another’s property and there is a spill that the owner, manager, tenant or their representatives knew or should have known existed, the property owner or party in possession of the premises may be liable for failure to clean up the spill or to provide an appropriate warning. We have represented hundreds in slip and falls or trip and falls and have recovered tens of millions of dollars. Our commitment to client recovery has earned an “AV” rating from Martindale Hubbell, and it is why we have been asked to join Primerus, an international society of leading law firms. Moreover, the Miami Herald voted us as one of the top-rated South Florida law firm, and, we have earned the title of “Superlawyers,” designating us as being among the best lawyers in America. We want to put this dedication to work for you, so call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule an initial consultation.