I handle a lot of cases where people have fallen at Publix grocery stores. These accidents are usually in Florida, but they can also occur in states like Georgia or across the south. I have had great success in handling these cases over the years and have become quite prolific with Publix accident claims. They are all pretty similar, so once you understand the process, you can typically resolve the case quickly and fairly.
If you have been injured as a result of a fall at a Publix store, please read the following article. If you are interested in making a claim, please contact me as soon as possible so that I can give you precise instructions.
I cannot list the details of my cases because Publix requires a confidentiality clause after every case settles. But, these cases are all almost identical and I can discuss generalities. Here’s what I can tell you. Immediately after the fall, you will be contacted by risk management at Publix in Lakeland, Florida. If you went to the hospital after your fall, they will offer you up to $2500. If you simply fell and told them you were injured, they will offer you up to $1500. They do this without knowing anything about your injuries. They do this because they know that the money sounds good. Because you don’t know if you are actually injured, they are betting that you take the easy money. They are one of the only stores that makes these fast offers and they are able to cut off a lot of claims with this aggressive action.
But, what people don’t realize is that in every single case, we wind up settling without a lawsuit for over 10x that initial offer. That means $15,000 or more for falls that do not result in a hospital visit and $25,000 or more for those that do. That is quite a difference. Every single one of my clients thanks me at the end of their case for not taking that initial offer. If you have any doubt about what to do, just pick up the phone or email me. I can assess the situation and give you advice about whether to take the offer in a few minutes.
Examples of Falls at Publix
I have found that slip and falls are most common near the check-out counter. For some reason, water or liquids are commonly spilled here. Because customers are funneled into this area, it is inevitable there will be a slipping hazard.
Another example of an accident may involve a cooler or freezer that is leaking water. There are a lot of coolers and freezers at Publix. There are even drink coolers near the check out lines. If the motor on a cooler or freezer is not working properly or there is condensation build up, water can pool. When a cooler leaks or drips water, it is an easy claim because I guarantee the store was on notice of the problem. Perhaps they had to mop up water previously? Perhaps they had a mechanic out to do a repair? Whatever the case, leaking coolers are dangerous and Publix knows this.
The employees of Publix are another source of liquid on floors. Perhaps during stocking, something was dropped and not fully cleaned up? Also, the maintenance cart that they push through the store with the cleaning materials has a mop with a bucket of water in it. If the cart leaks or spills and is not dried, it can create a hazard.
After the Fall at Publix
The most important thing to do after a fall at Publix is to tell the manager so that he or she can make an incident report. If you already left the store, go back in and make a report. These incident reports are critical to the case because they put Publix on notice and give them a chance to investigate. You won’t actually get a copy of the report once it is done, but that doesn’t matter. You just need to have them do one.
While you are still at the Publix store, try to get the names and numbers of any witnesses to the fall. If another customer saw you fall or saw the liquid that caused your fall, that contact info will be very helpful. Names of employees are fine, but the witnesses are what you really need.
Try to take a picture of what caused the fall. If your clothing is wet, take a photo of it. If a Publix employee is mopping up water, take a picture of that too.
Lastly, check for wet floor signs. If there was a caution sign already up when you fell, Publix has a defense to the claim. This is important information for your lawyer to know.
How We Prove Our Claims
Publix has excellent closed circuit video of their stores. Every aisle is covered. They take time to watch the videos of the fall both before and after. When they watch the video and see their own maintenance people run over with paper towels or a mop, the case is made for you. That’s why it is so important to put them on notice so that they can respond. Publix will take responsibility for your accident if you handle it properly.
Contact a Publix Injury Attorney
Even though accidents occur at Publix stores across the country, they really do try to take care of their customers. Compared to most stores, Publix is responsive and usually fair. Even the Risk Management people in Lakeland are nice people and good to work with.
If you have fallen at a Publix store, you actually need to move pretty quickly. I like to handle all of the communication with the adjusters. I will also need to determine how your medical bills are going to be paid. I have never had a client left with unpaid medical bills at the end of the claim, but it is still important to put together a strategy.
If you have fallen at Publix, you likely don’t know how valuable your claim is. I am happy to walk you through it and then you can decide if you’d like to hire a Publix accident and injury attorney.