Whether you head out to your Miami neighborhood supermarket to grab a carton of milk or hit a big box store for a week’s worth of groceries, you never expect that your safety may be at risk. Unfortunately, negligent store owners who do not properly maintain the premises create a significant risk of harm. Dangers lurk down every aisle, and many of them are either hidden or unknown to shoppers. Slip and falls at the supermarket can lead to serious injuries, but there are numerous hazardous conditions that could also cause harm at the grocery store.
Florida personal injury laws provide victims with legal remedies under the concept of premises liability. You may qualify to recover damages if you can prove that the accident happened because the supermarket owner breached the duty to keep the store safe for shoppers. A Miami premises liability lawyer can assist with the process of obtaining compensation, but it is helpful to review some information on the risks you could encounter.
Negligence Leads to Grocery Store Accidents
Supermarket owners have a legal duty to protect shoppers from reasonably foreseeable hazards. There are unique factors in a grocery store that could cause a risk of harm, such as:
- Freezers and refrigeration units that leak condensation to create puddles;
- Overstocked or improperly loaded shelves, leading items to fall;
- Slippery surfaces from broken packaging on beverages and fluids;
- Improperly secured displays and end caps; and,
- Loose or faulty wiring that causes electrocution.
Actual v. Constructive Notice
Because of the unique nature of a supermarket, there are laws that specify what a victim must prove in certain cases. Florida has a statute on liability for slip and falls caused by “transitory foreign substances” – i.e., the spills, puddles, and other messes that are common in grocery stores. A victim needs evidence showing:
- Actual notice, such as where the shop owner was informed about a hazard and did not address it; OR,
- Constructive notice, which refers to circumstantial factors that the supermarket owner should know about and fix.
When a dangerous condition is present for a length of time or occurs regularly, the property owner has constructive knowledge.
Damages in Florida Premises Liability Claims
If you were hurt in an accident at a supermarket, you suffer emotional and financial consequences in addition to physical pain. You may qualify to recover compensation for these losses by settling with the insurance company or going to court. Examples include:
- Medical expenses for emergency care, surgery, hospitalization, rehab, and related costs;
- Lost wages, if you were not able to work because of your injuries;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress; and,
- Losses that affect your quality of life.
Our Miami Premises Liability Attorneys Will Take on the Important Tasks
For more information on your rights being injured at a grocery store, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA. You can call (305) 371-6000 or go online to speak to a knowledgeable premises liability lawyer. We are happy to schedule a free case review at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL.