I recently watched a series of videos on Youtube called “Hilarious Fall Accidents in Stores.” The falls are all pranks committed by a young man in a large cowboy hat, speaking in a heavy country bumpkin accent. He goes from aisle to aisle in major retailers like WalMart and Target and falls. I am sure most people would watch this video and find it funny. However, as a lawyer who sues Target, Walmart, Publix, Winn Dixie, CVS, Walgreens and other retailers across Florida, I find the videos both offensive and quite telling.
First, notice the reactions of the customers who either see or hear the boy fall. Most of the male customers continue to shop or simply jokingly ask, “You okay?” The women, it appears–and perhaps its maternal instinct on seeing a young boy on the floor–have a more startled and sympathetic response. But not always… some if not most just keep shopping and try to ignore entirely the body lying in the aisle. Why?
I am offended because these joke videos damage the public’s perception, especially in jury trials, ing my ability to hold stores responsible and accountable for our clients who really are hurt in slip and fall cases. If you have a question, call me toll free at: 866-597-4529.
WHAT IS FLORIDA’S LAW FOR CUSTOMERS HURT IN STORES
I imagine one reason is that assume, often incorrectly, that just because you slip, trip, or fall in a business, the owners o the business are responsible for paying money. In Florida, where I practice law, this simply is not true.
Florida’s slip and fall law requires that the business owner either knew or should have known about a dangerous condition, such as a wet or slippery floor, for a “reasonable” amount of time before the fall but failed to clean it up.
For example, hypothetically the boy in the video actually sought our legal advice for a real fall in a CVS, where he had broken his arm or leg and not in a joke for a Youtube video, we would have reviewed the actual surveillance video of the fall as part of his case evaluation. Then we would have told him that he did not have a case–not because he wasn’t hurt, and not because he did not fall, but rather because the fall was due to his tripping o his own two feet rather than something the store did or failed to do.
HOW TO PAY FOR MEDICAL CARE AFTER A FLORIDA SLIP AND FALL
Often Florida business carry a little-known type of insurance that will pay for medical expenses of injured customers just because the injury occurred on their premises–including parking lots. For example, in the case of the boy falling at WalMart, the store owner’s insurance may pay some money towards his medical bills.
In Florida, many commercial business, restaurants, malls, and condominium associations maintain a type of insurance called Med Pay–which will sometimes pay $5,000-10,000 toward medical bills that are reasonably related to an injury on their premises, regardless of fault. Please bear in mind that most of those policies require that the care be received and the bills presented within one year of the incident.
HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR ACCIDENT?
We believe that understanding Florida’s slip and fall laws and applying them to the facts of each individual case is important in obtaining the best possible results for our clients. We offer anyone who has had an accident in a grocery store, shopping mall, restaurant, or Starbucks to contact us immediately after obtaining the appropriate medical attention for a free initial legal consultation by calling our office at 24/7 866-597-4529 or emailing me, Spencer Aronfeld. With offices in both Miami and Tampa, we cover the entire State of Florida and are ready to help you.