Publix is generally a responsible and safe grocery store. Most importantly, it tries to take care of its customers when they are injured in an accident. At St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas, we specialize in claims against Publix. We have found that compared to other stores such as Winn-Dixie, Aldi, or Walmart, Publix usually does the right thing. That does not mean that Publix will simply pay a lot of money for no reason. There are certain parts of a claim that must be met before you can recover money.
Paying the Medical Bills After an Accident at Publix
A recurring concern from my clients is that they want to know how their medical bills are going to be paid. Incurring the debt of medical bills can be stressful and unnerving. If you have health insurance, all of your bills should be run through it. Your health insurance will impose a lien against the money that you recover in the case. But, that lien will be factored in by Publix when they make you an offer. Sometimes we can even get that lien reduced.
If you do not have health insurance, your only option is to get medical treatment through a letter of protection (LOP). This is essentially an IOU out of the money that you receive in the case. An LOP is a common technique in all types of personal injury cases and it allows people to get excellent medical treatment while the case is pending. However, you will need to have an attorney before a medical provider will agree to an LOP. Usually the medical provider will have a relationship of trust with the attorney before they will agree to the LOP arrangement. This is because the medical providers trust that the attorneys will not send them cases where there is not a good chance at recovery. The risk in an LOP arrangement to a client is that the medical bills are still owed by the client if the case does not settle for enough money to repay them. That is why it is important to hire an attorney that has experience with Publix accident claims.
Examples of Publix Accident Claims
We have handled many types of accidents involving Publix. The most common type of accident is a slip and fall. These falls may occur at the entrance or exit on wet floors. These falls occur when rain water is tracked into the store by customers, employees, or even dripping off shopping carts. These slick surfaces can be very dangerous.
Another common accident at Publix occurs when someone slips and falls on a substance that has been spilled. This usually occurs in the check-out aisle and in front of the cashier and bagger.
We also handle many accidents with Publix delivery trucks. These delivery trucks are normally safe. But, accidents happen from time to time. We rarely see accidents with Publix trucks on the store property since there are specific areas for the trucks to unload. But, when the trucks are on the way to and from the stores, accidents occur.
What to Do After an Accident at Publix
The first thing to do after an accident is to report the incident to the store manager. Do not report it to an employee, make the report directly to the manager. The store manager is normally well trained at taking the report and will offer better assistance to you.
The second step after the accident is to take photographs of the scene. If you fell on something spilled on the floor, get a photo of it. Also, if you see an employee come along and start mopping it up, take photos of that too.
Next, if there were any witnesses to the incident, get their name and telephone number. While Publix will pull the video from the incident, don’t rely on them to complete the investigation.
Next, seek immediate medical care. It is important that you get checked out at either a hospital or an urgent care on the day of the incident.
Take photos of any visible injuries that you have. I recommend that you take the pictures over time to show how the injury heals and whether any scarring is present.
Finally, follow your doctor’s advice. After your visit to the hospital or urgent care, you will likely be sent to a specialist for follow-up. If the specialist orders you to physical therapy or chiropractic care, then make your appointments. Missed appointments and gaps in treatment are a guaranteed way to lose money on your case.
Contact a Publix Accident Attorney
We handle claims all across Florida against Publix. All claims against Publix are assigned to their Risk Management Department in Lakeland, Florida. Publix is self-insured, so they don’t have the same response time requirements like you would find in a car insurance claim. In other words, they get to the claim when they feel like it. That being said, they are pretty good about promptly responding and trying to settle the claims quickly. I have found that the adjusters in Risk Management are professional and courteous. They seem to legitimately want to settle the claims without the necessity of a lengthy lawsuit.
We hope that you do not have an accident at Publix. But, if you have been injured and would like to discuss your claim, please contact us for a free consultation.