What to Do If You Were Injured at a Publix Supermarket in Florida
Injured at a Publix in Florida? This article will help you understand the next steps you should consider and how a personal injury attorney can help you.
If you or someone you know has sustained injuries in a Publix supermarket, you may be entitled to compensation. However, if you have been involved in a slip and fall accident, you may be wondering what steps you need to take to recover the compensation you deserve.
Navigating a Florida slip and fall case can feel overwhelming, especially if you have never been involved with one before. Fortunately, you don’t have to handle this on your own.
The slip and fall attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have worked with countless personal injury victims in Tampa and throughout Florida. We have helped our clients receive the compensation they deserve, and we are ready to fight to do the same for you.
Why It Is Important to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney When Hurt in an Accident
Hiring a personal injury attorney will be crucial to the success of your case against Publix. While you can always try to handle your case without any assistance, the benefits of having an experienced attorney in your corner cannot be overstated.
Primarily, a personal injury attorney with extensive knowledge of slip and fall laws in Florida can be your advocate and argue the law on your behalf. This will allow you to stay focused on what matters most—your recovery.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Interpret and Apply Florida Slip and Fall Laws
Florida slip and fall laws can be complicated. It can be very difficult to prove that Publix is liable for your injuries without an in-depth understanding of the law in this area.
Florida’s slip and fall statute states that a business establishment, like Publix, will be liable if:
- It had actual or constructive knowledge of a dangerous condition on the premises;
- The dangerous condition caused a person to slip and fall, resulting in injuries; and
- The business establishment should have taken action to remedy the dangerous condition.
The statute anticipates that actual knowledge of a dangerous condition can be difficult to prove. Thus, constructive knowledge can also be used to prove liability. You can prove constructive knowledge using circumstantial evidence showing that:
- The dangerous condition existed for so long that “in the exercise of ordinary care, the business establishment should have known” that the condition existed; or
- The condition occurred regularly, making its existence foreseeable.
As you can imagine, it is often very difficult to prove that the above requirements exist in your case. Making matters more difficult, there are additional intricacies in the law to consider.
An experienced personal injury attorney will know the relevant law and apply it to the specific circumstances in your case.
How an Attorney Can Help You Prove Your Publix Slip and Fall Claim
How do you prove that Publix had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition that caused your fall? While it is true that this can be difficult to prove, it is not impossible.
An experienced personal injury law attorney will know where to look to obtain critical evidence that you will need to prove your claim. Key pieces of evidence include:
- Video footage of the premises;
- Photos showing substances left on the floor;
- Employee logs detailing instances and frequency of cleaning; and
- Witness and employee statements.
A personal injury attorney can help you gather this evidence through the use of formal procedural rules. The more evidence you have to support your claim, the greater your chances will be for success.
An Attorney Will Help You Determine What Settlement Amount You Can Recover
According to the CDC, one out of every five falls will cause a serious injury. Common slip and fall injuries include:
- Soft tissue injuries,
- Head injuries,
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI),
- Hand and wrist injuries,
- Hip fractures, and
- Back and spinal cord injuries.
If you have sustained any of the above injuries as a result of a Publix slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation. A personal injury attorney can help you determine what compensation might be available so you can maximize your settlement amount.
In a personal injury lawsuit, there are many damages for which you might receive compensation. Damages are the monetary award that a personal injury victim is entitled to as compensation for their loss or injury. In a slip and fall case, available damages might include:
- Past and future medical expenses;
- Lost wages or diminished earning capacity;
- Loss of consortium; and
- Pain and suffering.
While expenses like hospital bills and lost wages are not too difficult to calculate, things like pain and suffering can be more complicated to assign a monetary value to. An experienced slip and fall attorney can help you identify the damages that exist in your case and determine what amount you may deserve.
Examples of Slip and Fall Lawsuits and Settlements Against Publix
There have been many slip and fall lawsuits against Publix supermarkets. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we believe that understanding the outcome of past lawsuits and settlements is imperative. While our firm did not represent the clients in the cases below, analyzing the courts’ decisions will allow us to better represent our clients in future slip and fall cases against Publix.
Schaap v. Publix Supermarkets, Inc.
In Schaap v. Publix Supermarkets, Inc., 579 So. 2d 831 (Fla. 1st Dist. Ct. App. 1991), a customer in a Publix supermarket slipped and fell on a piece of a cookie left on the floor. The Court in this case ruled in favor of Publix, reiterating that a plaintiff in a slip and fall case must prove that the owner of the premises had actual or constructive knowledge that the dangerous condition existed.
Although the plaintiffs provided testimony of the assistant manager acknowledging that the premises flooring was dangerous when food was present, the Court ultimately found that they failed to provide sufficient proof that Publix could or should have been aware of the cookie piece on the floor or even that the cookie caused the fall. This case demonstrates just how difficult it can be to be successful on a slip and fall claim.
Publix Supermarkets, Inc. v. Bellaiche
InPublix Supermarkets, Inc. v. Bellaiche, 245 So. 3d 873 (Fla. 3rd Dist. Ct. App.), Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal overturned the jury’s award in the trial court of $1.5 million in damages for the plaintiff. In this case, the plaintiff slipped and fell on some water that she did not see while walking down an aisle.
The plaintiff testified at trial that she had seen a Publix employee with a mop in his hand. However, there was no clear evidence that the mop was wet or that it had been used in the aisle in which she fell.
The appellate court ultimately held that there was insufficient evidence proving that Publix had actual knowledge of the water that caused the slip and fall and overturned the award.
Contact Abrahamson & Uiterwyk Today
This article shows just how difficult it can be to bring a successful slip and fall case in Florida. However, this does not mean that you should forgo pursuing your rights.
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a slip and fall accident at a Publix supermarket in Florida, we want to help.
Our experienced team of personal injury attorneys has been helping to protect the rights of injured victims for over 30 years, recovering hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation overall. Contact us today for a free case evaluation to see how we can help you.
How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Slip and Fall Attorney?
Different law firms will structure their fees in different ways. However, at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, you will incur absolutely no costs or fees unless you win.
How Long Will It Take to Resolve My Case?
The length of time it takes to resolve a slip and fall claim will vary widely from case to case. Depending on the facts and circumstances, and whether your case ends in a settlement or trial, it could take months or even years to reach a resolution.
Is There an “Average” Settlement Amount for Florida Slip and Fall Cases?
Unfortunately, there is no “average” settlement in a Florida slip and fall personal injury case. However, our attorneys will fight to maximize your claim to get you the compensation you deserve.