With the winter holidays quickly approaching, Florida stores, parking lots, and parking garages are more crowded than ever, leading to the potential for accidents and slips and falls on the premises. These accidents can cause serious injuries—not to mention thousands of dollars in medical expenses and other damages. To make matters worse, insurance companies routinely try to limit their liability in these cases by disputing fault. For example, in a slip and fall, the insurer may claim that the property owner was not aware of any defect on the property or did not have sufficient time to correct it. Insurance companies may also allege that the injured accident victim caused or contributed to the incident by not paying attention to the surroundings.
If a pedestrian accident or slip and fall accident at a store or shopping mall injured you or someone you love, the New Port Richey personal injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group are ready and willing to assist you with your case. Our attorneys can fight liability disputes raised by the insurance company, pursue a favorable settlement award, or file a lawsuit on your behalf. Our attorneys also welcome the opportunity to litigate your personal injury case and, if necessary, take it to trial.
Store and Shopping Mall Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents routinely occur in store and shopping mall parking lots and parking garages during the busy winter holiday season. In many cases, drivers have their minds on holiday shopping—rather than on safe driving. Common causes of these pedestrian accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Speeding through parking lots and garages
- Failing to use rearview and sideview mirrors when backing up
When a pedestrian accident causes a pedestrian’s head to strike the ground after a fall, a traumatic brain injury can result. Traumatic brain injuries—or TBIs—can range in intensity from mild concussions to long-term cognitive impairments. A TBI’s severity depends largely on the force of the impact and the internal damage to the person’s brain.
Slip and Fall Accidents—Common Locations
Florida slip and fall accidents at stores and shopping malls can occur both indoors and outdoors, including on and in:
- Parking lots
- Parking garages
- Store aisles
- Restaurants and bars
- Entranceways and exits
- Areas with high customer foot traffic
Potential Slip and Fall Defendants
The primary defendant in a slip and fall accident at a store or shopping mall is usually the corporate owner of the property where the accident occurred. Other potential defendants may include the developer, landlord, property manager, or store/mall manager for the area where the slip and fall accident took place. A New Port Richey premises liability lawyer can bring every potential defendant into your slip and fall case in a timely manner.
Burden of Proof in Florida Premises Liability Cases
To prove negligence in a Florida premises liability case, the accident victim must show that the store, corporation, manager, developer, or landlord had timely knowledge of (or notice of) the defective condition located on the premises, but failed to take prompt action to warn about it or correct it. The injured accident victim must also show that the slip and fall accident resulted in injuries and damages. Injuries can range from relatively mild sprains and strains to broken bones and spinal cord injuries, while damages may include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of earning capacity, or permanent disabilities.
To prevail in a Florida premises liability case, the injured accident victim must prove the negligence of one or more defendants—and that this negligence caused the injuries and damages. Elements of negligence include:
Duty – The owner or occupier of the property, and in some cases, the property manager, landlord, or developer, owes a legal duty to visitors on the premises—including the injured accident victim. A customer in a store or shopping mall is generally owed a greater duty of care than a social guest at someone’s house or a trespasser. In most cases, the store owes its shoppers a duty to warn of or take action to correct any known defects—and to routinely inspect the premises for hidden, latent defects.
Breach – If the defendant(s) violated this duty of care, such as by failing to clean up a puddle of water on the floor in a timely manner or repair a broken staircase, floor, or railing, then the victim may hold the defendant(s) responsible for the injuries and damages that ensued.
Cause – The injured accident victim must show that the injuries and damages directly resulted in the defendant’s breach.
Damages – The accident victim must prove that the accident caused injuries. These injuries may include fractures, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), or other long-term and potentially permanent impairments. Available damages in Florida slip and fall cases may include payment of medical and physical therapy bills and lost wages, as well as monetary compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, and loss of spousal support.
Call a New Port Richey Premises Liability Lawyer Today for a Free Case Evaluation and Initial Consultation
With the winter holiday season comes busy stores and parking areas, and accidents on the premises can bring about serious injuries and damages. If you sustained serious injuries as a pedestrian or shopper on store or shopping mall premises, the compassionate lawyers at Dolman Law Group may help you obtain the monetary compensation you need and deserve. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a New Port Richey accident lawyer, please call us today at (727) 853-6275 or contact us online.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652