Articles Posted in Slip, Trip or Fall Accidents

A customer is suing Outback Steakhouse of Florida LLC for allegedly taking insufficient measures to prevent injuries.

The woman filed a complaint on June 29 in the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida – Pinellas County, alleging that Outback failed to maintain its floors in a reasonably safe condition.

According to the complaint, the woman alleges that she was a customer at the an Outback in Clearwater on Aug. 13, 2014 when she slipped and fell on a foreign substance on the floor. She allegedly sustained injuries, pain and suffering, hospital and medical expenses, lost wages and mental anguish.

The woman holds Outback responsible for allegedly creating a dangerous condition on its premises and for failing to provide warning signs around the area where she fell.

If you suffer an injury from a slip and fall or trip and fall accident at a restaurant, you should follow these first steps:

  1. Do not delay in seeking out medical treatment. Get medical care right away!
  2. Do not sign anything from the restaurant’s management or their lawyers or insurance company until you have retained your own legal counsel.
  3. Call Whittel & Melton at 727-823-0000 to get the legal help you need right away.

The injuries sustained in a slip and fall or trip and fall at a restaurant can be serious and potentially permanent, with skyrocketing financial costs. You shouldn’t have to worry about money at a time like this, but many slip and fall or trip and fall victims do because they might be unable to work and provide for their families. Medical expenses are just another strain to your finances. Even if you have insurance, your co-pays will add up quickly when you pay out of pocket for every test, follow-up appointment, medical treatment, medication, therapy session, and whatever else your injury requires.

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A Target shopper says he was injured in the Pinellas Park store because of a dangerous condition.

According to the man’s lawsuit, he suffered physical injuries that required medical care while shopping at Target on April 26, 2016. He is holding Target responsible because the store failed to warn him and other shoppers of the hazardous condition on its premises.

The man is seeking damages of more than $15,000 plus all legal fees.

What is a hazardous condition? There are several common types of dangerous property conditions that cause injuries, including:

  • Wet or slippery floors
  • Slick sidewalks and parking lots
  • Cracked or uneven sidewalks or walkways
  • Torn carpets
  • Uneven floors, stairs or entryways
  • Merchandise in store aisles
  • Faulty elevators or escalators
  • Poorly lit hallways, stairwells, walkways or parking lots
  • Inadequate security

Property owners have a duty to take reasonable safety precautions to ensure the safety of all potential visitors to their property. If you or someone you know has suffered any type of injury on someone else’s property, it is in your best interest to speak with a Tampa Bay Premises Liability Lawyer at Whittel & Melton.

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Who is responsible for your injury after a slip and fall or trip and fall accident? That depends. There are numerous factors when it comes to determining fault, but most importantly is where you fell, and whether it is public property, a business, or a residence.

Premises liability law establishes when residential and business owners are responsible for injuries that occur on their property. If you fall in a store or on some area of their property, like the parking lot, then the store could be liable for your injury if the injury was caused through its negligence. On that same note, if you are a guest in someone’s home and you suffer an injury as a result of the owner’s negligence, the homeowner may be liable.

How To Prove Your Claim

In order to be successful in a slip and fall or trip and fall case, you must show that there was a dangerous condition that the property owner was aware of or should have been aware of. The owner failing to remedy the dangerous condition caused you harm and it was foreseeable that someone could get hurt from it. In other words, there has to be a negligent party. If you just happened to slip, trip or fall for no apparent reason, then there may not be a responsible party other than yourself, which obviously creates an impossible burden for your claim. In the end, our job as lawyers is to investigate not only the mechanism of injury, learn how it could be avoided and determine if an insurance policy was paid for with the intent of compensating you for your injuries. Unfortunately, all the “good hands” in the world won’t start dialing your house most likely unless we call them first.

However, if you were harmed due to a real hazard, who you name in your lawsuit will depend on the details of your slip, trip or fall. If you were hurt at a retail store in the mall, there may be multiple parties, including the store, mall management, a security company, and possibly other entities.

When you fall at a residential property, the liable party is usually the property owner. If you are hurt in a rental and the tenant is responsible for handling repairs, then that person could be to blame.

When it comes to injuries on municipal properties, sidewalks and parks, it can be tricky to establish fault, but there is sometimes someone to blame for it, possible even the city or state.

Call A Tampa Bay Premises Liability Lawyer at Whittel & Melton – 727-823-0000

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After a day spent with family and friends feasting and watching football, many Americans will head out for a day filled with holiday shopping, better known these days as Black Friday. Stores throughout the Tampa Bay area have been advertising deals for weeks, and many shoppers will start lining up outside the stores after Thanksgiving dinner is finished.  Some stores have special deals that start on Thanksgiving night.

Black Friday often results in an increased risk of accidents and injuries. Mall parking lots will be crowded with pedestrians, shopping carts, drivers searching for parking spots, and children of all ages and sizes. According to Progressive Insurance, parking lot related accidents increase 36.5 percent on Black Friday. Progressive also reports that rear-end collisions account for 12.57 percent of claims. Hitting a parked car or having your parked car hit by someone else accounts for 11.13 percent of claims. Backing into another car or having your car backed into accounts for 7.68 percent of claims.  

When stores first open on Thanksgiving evening or Black Friday, there is the risk of overly enthusiastic shoppers to stampede to get to the special sale items. Be aware of your surroundings so that you can avoid any accidents. Slip and fall accidents can also happen inside stores quite easily. Wet floors, large crowds, pushing and shoving can all lead to slip and fall or trip and fall accidents. Head and other bodily injuries from falling merchandise or careless customers can be serious and ruin the holidays.

Shopping cart injuries are also becoming more common on Black Friday. Shoppers should be overly cautious to make sure their carts do not tip over and that small children are properly secured. According to reports, nearly 24,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for accidents related to shopping carts every year. While falls from the shopping cart are the most common injuries, injuries from running into or falling over the cart, cart tip-overs and entrapment of extremities in the cart are also common. Always pay attention to children when shopping, and pay special mind to the potential for accidents when it comes to shopping carts.

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If you are like most Americans, you will be celebrating Halloween this weekend. Halloween is quite a fun holiday, providing you with the opportunity to dress up in a unique costume and eat a lots of candy! Halloween is known by children for its trick or treating, and for good reason. This year alone, Americans are projected to spend $2.1 billion on Halloween candy!

Around 41 million trick or treaters between the ages of 4 and 15 are expected to be out on the streets this Halloween. And while Halloween is a spooky fun holiday, it is important to not forget the list of potential dangers that can arise. Serious injuries can occur, ranging from pedestrian accidents, dog bites and even slip and falls or trip and falls. The following safety tips can ensure that you and your family and friends stay safe this Halloween while out and about in the Tampa Bay area.

Tips for a Safe Halloween

  1. Carry a flashlight with you while stomping through the streets. A flashlight can warn motorists that you are on the road and help illuminate your walking path so that you can clearly see ahead and avoid a trip and fall accident.
  2. Put reflective tape on your children’s costumes, and even their candy bags, so that they can easily be seen at night. You want to make sure your children are as visible as possible when out trick or treating. Accidents usually occur when drivers cannot see children.
  3. Make sure your child can walk in his or her costume and that it is not too long. You may need to hem or trim the bottom of the costume to avoid any unnecessary falls.
  4. Never let your child go out trick or treating alone. Make sure your kids are in a group and escorted by a parent or guardian.
  5. Remind children to stay away from dark houses.
  6. Inspect all candy before you let your children dig in.

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For most, Labor Day weekend symbolizes the unofficial end of summer. As a three-day weekend, this gives many Americans the chance to celebrate with friends and family one more time before fall comes around and the weather gets cooler. Whether you plan on taking one last road trip for a weekend getaway or staying home and celebrating with family and friends, the Tampa Bay Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want you and your loved ones to stay safe!

Labor Day Weekend has a high rate of preventable accidents, injuries, and deaths, both on the roadways and at homes across Tampa Bay and the rest of the country. To help you and your loved ones stay safe this holiday weekend, our Tampa Bay Injury Lawyers have compiled a few helpful safety tips:

  • Roadway Safety AAA anticipates that nearly 35 million Americans will travel this Labor Day weekend. With this many people on the road, it is very important to remember roadway safety, obey traffic laws and to always stay alert and avoid distractions when behind the wheel.
  • Vehicle Safety – Along with obeying the rules of the road, it is equally important to make sure your vehicle is safe for travel. Check your vehicle’s fluids, brakes and lights before going on a trip. It is recommended to take your vehicle in for a quick inspection before you head out of town. If you have an older vehicle, you may want to consider renting a car with up-to-date safety features for your road trip.
  • Water & Pool Safety Because Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer, pool parties and water activities are common. Make sure that all children are always supervised around and in the water.
  • BBQ Safety Tips – Labor Day weekend and barbecues go hand in hand. If you are planning on an outdoor grilling party, make sure that your grille is properly cleaned to avoid grease fires. Also, make sure to grill in a safe area away from structures, furniture and other flammable hazards. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and have a safety plan ready in place your barbecue goes awry.
  • Drink Responsibly – Holiday weekends, like Labor Day, see some of the highest rates of alcohol-related accidents and injuries than any other time of year, especially on roads and highways. If you plan on drinking, please do so responsibly and plan a safe ride home. Remember, police will be on high alert for motorists driving under the influence, so do not drink and drive.

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According to authorities, eight people were injured at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Friday night when a construction wall gave way.

Three of those injured were transported to area hospitals for treatment, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue. One man apparently suffered a broken arm when the wall fell around 11 p.m.

Crews had bolstered up a 12- to 15-foot high temporary wall to separate an open section of the casino area from a high-limit slot room that is currently under construction. In between was a walkway.

The wall fell down striking some people on the walkway.

11519345363_005f3087e8_mA witness told authorities that the accident sounded like ice falling and that the wall crumbled a bit when it fell.

It is unclear at this time what caused the wall to come down.

The hotel and casino, located in East Tampa, is still open for business.

Hotels and casinos can be quite unique, fun-filled places. But they can also be crowded, boisterous and as this case shows, potentially dangerous. Unfortunately, accidents and injuries in hotels and casinos happen on a regular basis due to many different causes.

If you or a loved one was injured at a hotel or casino due to negligence or carelessness, you have legal rights. You may be entitled to receive compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and more. In order to determine whether you have a case, you need to speak with an injury attorney as soon as possible.

A Tampa Bay Injury Lawyer at Whittel & Melton will conduct a thorough investigation of your case in order to determine the full scope of your injuries. We prepare every case as if it will go to trial, but we will still explore other avenues to a favorable resolution such as aggressive settlement negotiations. Our ultimate goal is to help you achieve a positive outcome.

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A Tampa contractor died Monday after officials believe he slipped and fell while working at a TECO power plant in Tampa.

Reports indicate that the 31-year-old was dismantling an old unit at the Bayside TECO power plant when he slipped and fell through a grate located on the catwalk.

According to officials, the man fell about 50 feet to the ground. The Hillsborough County Fire Rescue pronounced the man dead at the scene.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is urging everyone to “Deck the Halls” safely this holiday season. An estimated 15,000 people will be injured this holiday season based on the number of people sent to emergency rooms across the nation last November and December. The worst of the injuries reported involved slip and falls from holiday decorating, stepping on ornaments, back injuries, ladder catastrophes and lacerations.

Hundreds of people fall off ladders every holiday season in their attempts to decorate. Ladders are supposed to be set up in a non-congested area with a 75 degree angle. Metal ladders should never be set up near electrical equipment. Sadly, ladder accidents often result in severe personal injuries or death. Last year, the CPSC reported that there were 20 injuries due to ladder accidents that resulted in a whopping $16 million in property damage.

Fires are another big problem during the holiday season. Fire departments across the country reported about 200 Christmas trees that were ignited from 2009 through 2011. These fires resulted in 70 deaths, 680 injuries and about $308 million in property damage, according to the CPSC. The number of fire-related incidents has been on the rise since 2009, resulting in about 12,000 more ER visits annually.

xmas tree betch.jpgThe CPSC urges everyone to follow these simple guidelines to prevent a holiday disaster this year:

• Discard any light sets with bare wires, broken sockets or that are damaged.

• Blow out candles when no one is in the room.

• Make sure your ladder is in good condition before using it.

• Keep your Christmas tree away from any heat sources.

• Watch out for children around the Christmas tree, as they could become injured from ornaments or sharp objects on or around the tree.

• Keep wrapping paper out of the fireplace as it can ignite suddenly and burn intensely.

Any problems with consumer products that lead to accidents or injuries should always be reported to saferproducts.gov. This is how the government tracks injuries from defective products so that recalls can be issued when enough injuries are reported.

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The holiday shopping season has already begun, and the biggest shopping day of the year is just around the corner. Many stores this year across the United States and in Florida will open in the evening on Thanksgiving, creating even earlier black Friday sales. These sales draw in thousands of shoppers all hoping to take advantage of the early door buster sales. Due to such large crowds, shoppers need to be aware of the potential for slip, trip and fall accidents that can occur when hazardous conditions exist inside retail stores.

Many slip, trip and fall injuries occur when a liquid or slippery substance is left in an aisle. A fall from a wet or slick surface could cause serious head, neck, back or ankle injuries. Uneven flooring, ripped or torn carpeting, misplaced objects, broken and hanging signs and other dangerous conditions can cause slip, trip and fall injuries. Even though store owners and employers are extra busy during holiday sales, they still have a duty to make sure the store is left in a safe condition at all times, and should a dangerous condition exist, they must warn customers.

black friday betch.jpgDetermining Fault in a Slip, Trip and Fall Case

When a slip, trip or fall occurs on a retailer’s property, it must be shown that a dangerous condition caused the accident. Additionally, it must be proven that the store owner was aware of the danger and failed to take the necessary steps to remedy the situation. This dangerous condition or hazard must be something that poses an unreasonable risk and something that a person would not have anticipated.

Moreover, the injury must be a predictable result of the dangerous condition. When a spill is not cleaned up and no warning is provided to customers, it is likely that a shopper could slip, trip or fall. If the floor is uneven or carpeting is torn, again, it is probable that a customer might slip, trip or fall.

In order to recover financial compensation for a slip, trip or fall injury, it must be demonstrated that the store owner was negligent in failing to uphold a safe premise. When an accident happens because of a shopper’s carelessness, the store is generally not at fault.

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