Winn-Dixie is one of the largest grocery retailers in the Southeastern United States. Its stores are owned by a company named Southeastern Grocers in Jacksonville, FL. The company employs more than 40,000 employees at about 500 stores. It operates nine grocery stores and one liquor store in the Tampa area.
The Grocery Store’s Duty of Care to Customers
As per Florida law, owners and operators of grocery stores owe a duty to their customers to perform periodic inspections of the premises so that any existing hazards that might injure customers can be discovered. If such a condition is found, another duty arises to warn customers of the condition and take appropriate measures to ensure their safety. Grocery stores are somewhat unique in this context as fruits, vegetables, liquids, grains, and powders can be spilled on aisles. Any of those can cause a customer to slip and fall, and the store could be held liable for damages.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
A slip and fall at a Tampa area Winn-Dixie can result in serious injuries. Grocery store floors are hard and unforgiving with concrete bases. Once you slip, gravity pulls you down. Your resulting injuries might include traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, hip, shoulder, elbow, hand and ankle fractures along with serious back injuries. Sudden and violent twisting can also cause cartilage tears.
Qualified and Respected Representation is a Must
For the most part, Winn-Dixie is self-insured. That means when you bring a personal injury claim against the company, you’re trying to reach into its pocket rather than an insurance company’s pocket. Winn-Dixie uses independent claims adjusters to attempt to settle its claims. As that company wants to continue its business relationship with Winn-Dixie, it tries to get personal injury claimants to settle as inexpensively as possible. That’s precisely what will happen to you if you try to pursue your slip and fall injury claim without the benefit of an experienced and aggressive personal injury law firm working on your behalf. You’ll probably even significantly reduce the value of your claim through your own mistakes. Winn-Dixie will have you exactly where it wants you. If you file a lawsuit in efforts to obtain more compensation, a judge is likely to rule in Winn-Dixie’s favor on those mistakes that you made earlier during the claim stage.
Seek Immediate Medical Care
If you’re able to get to your feet after a slip and fall, ask a store employee to get the manager so that a report of your accident can be made. After that, get to an emergency room immediately. If you can’t stand up, insist that paramedics be called so that you can be transported to an emergency room. Upon being discharged from the emergency room, you’ll be given written discharge instructions. Follow all instructions from emergency room personnel and your own doctors. Don’t skip a single appointment. Skipped appointments will be used to attack your credibility. You’ll be accused of malingering.
It’s entirely possible that your slip and fall was captured by store surveillance cameras. That footage must be preserved. A demand to preserve it must be made right away. That’s why it’s extremely important to consult with and retain counsel immediately after being injured in a Winn-Dixie slip and fall. That footage might be some of the strongest evidence that you have.
Contact a Tampa Slip-and-Fall Attorney Immediately
Winn-Dixie’s claims adjusters will want a recorded statement from you. Don’t give one. Florida law doesn’t require you to give any type of a statement without an attorney being present on your behalf. Contact us as soon as possible after leaving the emergency room to obtain a free and confidential consultation and case review with a Tampa slip and fall attorney from our offices. Our objective is to maximize any settlement or award that we might obtain for you. There are deadlines that must be met in order to file a claim, so contact us at your earliest convenience.