Every day customers are seriously injured as a result of slip and fall accidents in supermarkets and grocery stores in Florida. Most slip and falls in grocery stores occur because of the large number of people who are moving in tight spaces surrounded by distractions in every direction. Think about your average time in a grocery store. You most likely are pushing a cart, scanning the aisles and shelves looking at different items, sale signs and dodging other customers and their children as well as employees and vendors. When this happens it is often difficult, if not impossible, to see the floor ahead of you- where a dangerous spill, fruit pit or box of beer can cause one to slip, trip and fall.
Supermarkets are regulated by state and federal agencies like the FDA (Federal Food and Drug Administration), and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)- but how, when and by whom the floors and shelves are inspected is generally up to each individual supermarkets corporate policies and procedures. For example, in Miami stores like:
- Whole Foods
- Fresh Markets
- Trader Joe’s
- El Presidente
- Norman Brothers
- BJ’s Wholesale Club
As grocery store accident lawyers in Miami, we understand Florida’s slip and fall laws and how to hold these supermarkets accountable for our client’s injuries, lost wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering. The first thing slip and fall lawyers need to do is to understand how, when and where the accident occurred. Because not all accidents in grocery stores are viable legal cases. In other words, simply getting injured at a Publix does not necessarily make Publix legally responsible. This is often a surprise for many people who believe that grocery stores have a legal obligation to pay for any accident or injury that occurs on their property or in their parking lots.
In fact, Florida law requires that the supermarket pay claims only when it can be proven that the accident was one that they either caused, or knew or should have known would happen- and failed to prevent it. It is a confusing and often difficult legal burden to meet which is why it is very important that if you are hurt at a grocery store in Miami that you consult with an experienced slip and fall personal injury lawyer immediately.
The first thing our lawyers do when investigating a typical accident at a Winn-Dixie or other supermarket is to request that the store maintain and preserve the CCTV & surveillance video of the scene for several hours before, during and after the incident. It is important to understand what caused the accident, as well as see the accident actually occur, the subsequent medical care and in the case of a slip and fall on a wet aisle caused by a spill – how the spill is cleaned up and by whom.
We often will visit the scene of the accident with our clients to help them recollect how the accident occurred. We have found that a site visit will often refresh our client’s memories, which have been understandably shaken due to the trauma of a serious slip and fall.
If a lawsuit is filed, we will take the depositions which are sworn statements of the supermarkets employees, including the store managers and request their checklists, policies and procedures for inspecting, maintaining, cleaning and repair of the scene of the accident- such as the store’s parking lot, produce area, or in an aisle.
It is equally important to understand our client’s injuries as well as what their future medical needs will be. For that reason we work closely with our client’s medical care providers and in long term injury cases we help develop life care plans that include future physical and occupational therapy as well as prescription medication and surgery. The most common types of injuries we see are:
- Broken legs, ankles, wrists, arms, shoulders and knees
- Wrongful death from traumatic brain trauma
- Torn ligaments and muscles
- Cuts, lacerations and loss of limbs
- Sprains, strains and spinal disc injuries, such as herniations and bulges
If you have been hurt at a grocery store in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, The Keys or anywhere in the State of Florida it is critically important for you to consult with an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer who will fight to protect your legal rights. When selecting a lawyer- ask them about their qualifications and experience in claims against grocery stores. Spencer Aronfeld is a Board Certified Trial Lawyer and our firm, Aronfeld Trial Lawyers has successfully represented people and their families in claims against grocery stores across the country since 1991. Call us today for a free initial consultation 1-866-597-4529 or email [email protected] and speak with a grocery store personal injury lawyer about your potential claim.