Articles Posted in St. Petersburg Premises Liability Attorneys

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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Everyday items, such as hand sanitizer, urine, champagne, fried potatoes, napkins and a slew of other substances have become hazards that are being blamed for numerous slip and fall accident injuries and the basis for various lawsuits being filed in Hillsborough and Pinellas County courts.

This recent string of lawsuits claims owner negligence in places ranging from an Outback Steakhouse restaurant and Target store to a museum and skateboard park.
Some of the recent cases include:

• A woman who says she slipped on hand sanitizer and fell while visiting the Glazer Children’s Museum. Her claim states that she “neither saw the hand sanitizer nor any cautionary signs before she fell.”
• A Tampa Walmart shopper claims she slipped and fell on a “fried potato” near the cash register. Her lawsuit alleges she sustained permanent injuries and a reduced ability to lead a normal life or earn money.
• A man celebrating his 76th birthday with his family at an Outback Steakhouse in Plant City says he was sitting at the bar when he reached for his drink and his bar stool slipped on a floor allegedly covered with grease. He ended up falling backward, breaking his neck. He died just two weeks later.
• A woman shopping at a Target in Brandon claims she slipped on what she thought was urine and fell. She claims she suffered hospitalization, medical expenses and a loss of earnings.
• A man skateboarding at SkatePark of Tampa says an employee at the facility began spraying champagne causing him to slip and fall and suffer serious injuries.
• A man dining at Acropolis in Riverview says the staff at the restaurant began dancing and “negligently and dangerously” tossing napkins into the air, as is customary at all of the Greek restaurant chain’s locations. The man claims he slipped on a stray napkin and suffered “severe” injuries, including a fractured kneecap that required two surgeries.

wet floor sign betch.jpgInjuries resulting from a slip and fall or trip and fall accident are common occurrences that result in thousands of claims being made every year. Many victims of these accidents suffer severe, life-changing injuries that can even lead to wrongful death. Wet floors, misplaced objects and food items as well as obstructed walkways can have catastrophic results. It is important to understand your rights and know what to do if you are involved in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident. Immediately following an accident, it is best to consult a Tampa Bay Slip, Trip & Fall Lawyer at Whittel & Melton to determine whether you are entitled to recover damages for the negligence of a property or business owner.

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A two-year-old girl who managed to crawl through a doggie door and fall into a backyard swimming pool Friday night in Pinellas Park died on Sunday from near-drowning injuries.

The girl passed away around 8:30 a.m. on Sunday morning at All Children’s Hospital, according to Pinellas Park police.

A family member discovered the toddler floating in the pool around 4:20 p.m. Friday.

Police claim the child was not breathing. Emergency responders took the girl to St. Petersburg General Hospital where they were eventually able to resuscitate the child. However, she was still unconscious when she was later taken to All Children’s Hospital.

1134596_swim_time_.jpgA new report recently released by the Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that children under the age of five years old account for more than 75 percent of all swimming pool and spa submersion fatalities in the United States. Government data also indicates that more than 78 percent of all pool and spa submersion injuries in the U.S. involve children younger than 15 years old. The CPSC Pool Safely Campaign also highlights that African-American and Hispanic children between the ages of 5 and 14 are at a higher risk of drowning.

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Three people were injured this weekend after a staircase on the side of a home collapsed while they were standing on it.

Two adults and a child were standing on the metal staircase that rose two stories on Saturday, when it collapsed after the legs supporting it gave out.

The three were transported to a local hospital. According to officials, no one suffered serious injuries.

The cause of the collapse is still under investigation at this time.

While most of us use stairs on a daily or regular basis, we rarely consider the dangers that staircases present. Most staircase injuries involve people slipping or tripping and falling on stairs, but there is also the risk of staircases collapsing. When a staircase collapses, it is usually the result of inadequate upkeep of the property on behalf of the property owner.

1137816_broken_staircase.jpgProperty owners have a duty to inspect the stairs on their premises regularly and repair any damages or deterioration. When property owners do not live up to their responsibilities, staircases can collapse and cause serious injuries, such as broken bones, internal organ injuries, head and neck trauma, spinal cord damage and even wrongful death.

Stair collapses are very grave events that can deliver severe and permanent injuries to those involved. Sadly, these collapses are often completely preventable as many staircase collapses are caused by various factors that can be recognized and repaired through routine maintenance. Nonetheless, many property owners or building managers choose to neglect stairwells just to save a little bit of time and money.

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A 45-year-old Tampa Bay area man working on an elevator shaft was crushed to death Wednesday morning at the TradeWinds Island Resorts.

The man was vacuuming water from the bottom of the elevator shaft at the Jacaranda Beach Villas, condominiums on the grounds of the resort with another worker when the elevator fell from the second floor and killed him. The accident occurred around 10:30 a.m. The other man was working outside the shaft and was not injured.

At this time, no one is entirely sure what caused the elevator to fall. According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, hotel maintenance locked the elevator in place with a key, and the power was supposed to have been cut.

Hotel officials could not explain the tragedy.

Sadly, this man is not the first to have been killed in an elevator-related accident this year. Last month, a man was found inside an elevator shaft at Tampa International Airport after he apparently fell to his death. This particular accident remains under investigation.

State law does require elevators to be inspected annually. In Florida, inspections are conducted by private companies certified by the state.

The TradeWinds Islands Resorts’ elevators were inspected Monday, and all of them passed. No reports of any violations were found on the elevator that killed the worker.

The inspector’s report did note water at the bottom of the elevator shaft. Officials claim that this can happen naturally as the ground water table rises.

TradeWinds hired an environmental cleanup company to remove the water. The deceased and another worker from the company came Wednesday. The men had filled two barrels with water from the elevator before 10:30 a.m. when the elevator fell.

St. Pete Beach firefighters were called to the scene at 10:37 a.m. Not long after, the St. Petersburg Technical Rescue Team recovered the man’s body.

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A New York mother and daughter team has filed a personal injury lawsuit against Wendy’s International Inc. and Westbury Properties, LLC, after sustaining serious injuries at their local fast-food restaurant.

The mother and her 11-year-old daughter were exiting the restaurant on Dec. 4 when they were struck by the vehicle of an elderly driver. The pair was pinned to the wall of the restaurant, crushing their legs and resulting in multiple fractures, excruciating pain and costly medical treatment.

Two months later, the mother is still confined to a wheelchair while the daughter is able to walk again.

Now, the mother has filed a multimillion dollar personal injury lawsuit against Wendy’s and the driver of the car with the hopes of recovering just financial compensation for the damages suffered from this life changing accident.

The woman’s claim not only names the cause of the accident as the driver’s negligence, but also claims that the restaurant was careless with their safety precautions. The fast-food location only installed curb stops and signs after the accident occurred.

While Wendy’s did issue a statement of regret following the accident, they did not address any specifics associated with the pending lawsuit.

106969_quick_serve_restaurant_1.jpgPersonal injury lawsuits can be filed by victims who were injured as a direct result of another person or entity’s negligence. The mother and daughter team in this case are seeking full and fair compensation for their pain and suffering, which is entitled to them by law. When filing a personal injury claim, victims may recover for various damages including lost wages, costs associated with all medical treatments and physical and emotional pain and suffering. If you or a loved one has suffered personal injuries due to someone else’s reckless actions or negligent behavior, a personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights.

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Last week, Bay News 9 reported that a toddler fell nearly 15 feet from the top of the stands at Tropicana Field at the East-West Shrine Football Game.

1013137_baseball_stadium_-_tropicana_field_1.jpg St. Petersburg Fire officials say that the boy crawled between part of the stadium’s permanent seating and make-shift stands for the event, and then fell. Thankfully, the after the boy was taken to Bayfront Medical Center, his condition stabilized.

Accidents can happen anywhere, but sometimes, negligent upkeep of premises by property owners can cause injuries. When this happens, accident victims my have a claim against the property owners under Florida Law.

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