Archive for the ‘Slip and Fall Cases’ Category

Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys Talk about Wintertime Slip and Fall Accidents

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

The recent news coverage of the recent slip and fall injury of former Mississippi Governor William Winter is a reminder that winter weather creates injury risks that are not present during other times of the year. The ninety-one-year-old former governor was recently hospitalized with serious head injuries when he fell on the steep, icy driveway at his home.

Winter weather in Mississippi is unpredictable. Temperatures fall and rise; there are periods of dry weather and periods of rain, snow, and sleet. Snowfall varies from place to place, and within the course of a few hours, a day that presented no real accident risk could pose a substantial threat to safety. During the winter, any outdoor surface can become dangerously icy – from steps, decks, and driveways, to sidewalks, streets, and parking lots.  When this happens, there’s an increased risk of slip and fall accidents. Another factor which increases the risk of injury during the winter is that cold weather makes our joints and muscles tighter than they are in warmer weather. When you combine tight muscles with hard, slippery surfaces, there is the potential for serious bodily harm.

Fortunately, you can reduce your risk of slip and fall injuries by following a few simple winter safety tips. Many slip and fall accidents are preventable. One way that you can avoid getting hurt in a slip and fall accident is by choosing proper footwear. Winter boots may not be your favorite footwear, but they are a lot more comfortable than injuries caused by slip and fall accidents. Wear your boots every time the weather is cold and wet, or if cold, wet weather is in the forecast for the day. Also, if you are walking outside and you can see snow or ice on the ground, walk slowly and pay close attention to walking by avoiding distractions like talking or texting. If you see snow or ice on the ground where you are about to walk, look around and consider whether there is an alternative route to take to where you are going. If there is some other way that looks safer, you could greatly reduce the risk that you will slip, fall, and get hurt.

Sometimes, even the most careful people slip and fall. If you slip and fall, seek medical attention right away, even if you do not feel like you got hurt. Some of the types of injuries that can be caused by slip and fall accidents, such as neck and back injuries, are not always immediately noticeable. Seeking prompt medical attention can help you to get the care that you need right away, and it creates a record of your injury and the care that you have received.

After your accident, it is also important that you report the accident to the property owner as soon as possible. When you report the accident, do not say much about what happened and that you do not fill out an accident report or any other paperwork without speaking with an attorney first. Ask for copies of the forms and take them with you. Then, call a Mississippi Personal Injury Attorney and discuss your accident with them.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Helping Mississippi Slip and Fall Accident Victims

If you got hurt in a slip and fall accident, a Mississippi personal injury attorney could help you pursue a claim for damages. To find out more, call the Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC at 1 (800) 707-9577 to arrange a consultation.

Seeking Compensation for Injuries Suffered in a Mississippi Grocery Store Accident

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

When families make their regular trip to the grocery store to buy groceries in Mississippi, they may worry about their budget but usually are not concerned about the prospect of being involved in a grocery store accident which causes a debilitating injury.  Many more people are injured in grocery store accidents than might seem likely at first blush.  There are a multitude of situations that can result in a grocery store accident, including wet or sticky floors, groceries falling from shelves and items being left in the aisle causing a patron to trip and fall.

Effective Litigation Strategies and Liability Issues in Grocery Store Accident Lawsuits

Our experienced Mississippi grocery store accident attorneys have over a hundred years of collective experience representing those who suffer serious injuries or wrongful death caused by the negligence of property owners. When you are injured on the business premises of another, such as a grocery store, the outcome of your grocery store accident claim will depend largely on the specific facts of your situation.  Our Mississippi grocery store accident lawyers handle many grocery store accident claims and routinely investigate to obtain the following evidence:

  • Surveillance video
  • Witness statements including employees and other patrons
  • Grocery store maintenance records and procedures
  • Past accident reports and grocery store safety records
  • Testing and analysis of grocery store flooring
  • Training procedures for stacking and storing groceries
  • Safety inspection records by public entities
  • Records of OSHA regulation violations

Our Mississippi grocery store attorneys recognize that grocery store accidents can be caused by a wide range of causes including the following:

  • Slip, trip and falls on bulging or uneven area rugs carpets
  • Products that are not stacked properly on shelves
  • Spilled liquids including beverages, oils and the similar sticky or slippery substances
  • Inadequate warnings or lack of barriers around wet floors or other hazards
  • Defective steps or missing handrails
  • Unstable store displays

If you are injured in a grocery store accident, the liability of the grocery store chain will depend on premises liability law.  Mississippi premises liability law imposes an obligation on grocery store owners to keep their business premises reasonably safe for members of the public that come on their property including patrons, employees, venders and others.  Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of grocery store accident.  These accidents frequently result from spills of liquid products or a failure to keep the bathroom floor dry by implementing proper maintenance and cleaning procedures.

The Grocery Store Claim Process

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in excess of a million people per year are injured in slip and fall accidents.  Slip and fall accidents can be particularly dangerous for the elderly who may face a slow recovery time and require surgery and/or the  insertion of medical devices such as a hip replacement medical device.  While many people presume that slip, trip and fall accidents only result in minor injuries, they often result in serious head injuries as well as other debilitating injuries.  The CDC also reports that approximately 17,000 people per year die in slip and fall accidents.

Our grocery store accident attorneys zealously represent those injured in a grocery store whether it is a big chain supermarket or small mom and pop grocery store including Ralphs, Albertsons, Safeway, Stater Bros, Safeway, Vons, Costco, Food 4 Less, Sam’s Club, Raley’s, Save Mart or WinCo Foods or any other Mississippi grocery store.  Large grocery store chains are accustomed to facing premises liability lawsuits and have substantial litigation resources to defend against such claims.  The insurance company for the grocery store chain may contact you and ask you for a recorded statement so that they can “process your claim.”  It is important not to be fooled by this tactic.  The insurance company’s sole motivation is to minimize your recovery.  Before speaking with an attorney for the Mississippi grocery store where you were injured, you should speak with an experienced Mississippi grocery store accident attorney at Barrett Law so that we can help you avoid compromising your Mississippi grocery store accident lawsuit.

Our Mississippi grocery store accident lawyers understand that those who suffer injuries in trip and fall accidents or accidents involving merchandise falling off of shelves may face enormous challenges dealing with their physical injuries and escalating financial obligations.  Barrett Law offers thorough investigation, persuasive legal analysis and effective advocacy.  At Barrett Law, our experienced Mississippi personal injury lawyers represent injury victims throughout Mississippi.  Our law firm has roots that reach back 75 years so contact us today for your free initial consultation at (662) 834-2376 to see how we can help.

The Danger of Suffering Serious Injury in a Fall on a Mississippi Construction Site

Friday, June 15th, 2012

There are a substantial number of serious injuries and even fatalities on construction sites every year that make construction a dangerous occupation.  There are almost 150,000 construction accidents resulting in injuries with many of the injuries being the results of falls in slip and fall and trip and fall accidents.  There are an enormous number of fall hazards on construction sites including equipment, uneven terrain, trenches, debris and many other tripping hazards.  The experienced trip and fall construction accident attorneys at the Mississippi law firm of Barrett Law understand that construction projects are confusing places with lots of moving parts and a wide variety of entities that can make the investigation of a construction project accident complicated.  We have successfully represented clients throughout Mississippi injured in falls on construction sites.

Litigation of a slip, trip and fall accident on a construction site is much different than a similar fall accident in a store or business.  Construction projects are a whirlwind of activity with a variety of sub-contractors, trades and heavy machinery as well as tools, cables and wires on the ground.  Because of the enormous number of slip, trip and fall risks on construction sites, construction workers and visitors are often injured in slip, trip and fall accidents.  A construction accident involving a slip and fall caused by the failure to properly use warnings or barriers to prevent injury or make the hazard safe may be the basis for a personal injury lawsuit.  However, construction project slip and fall accidents generally may only be the basis of a personal lawsuit if it is brought against an at-fault party other than your employer.  The Mississippi workers’ compensation system is the exclusive remedy against an employer for injuries on a construction site.

Falls on construction sites are a much more common cause of injury than many people realize.  They constitute the most common cause of fatal construction accidents.  Falls on construction sites also account for a third of all construction site related fatalities.  There are a broad range of hazards that may cause slip, trip and falls including the following:

  • Falls from scaffoldings
  • Slipping and falling of ladders
  • Broken pavement on sidewalks
  • Falls from stairs or ramps
  • Trenches or holes that are not marked
  • Spilled liquids like tar, water or grease that puddle

Passageways on construction sites provide an illustration of the variety of hazards that may cause slip, trip and fall accidents.  Dirt and debris may build or other obstructions may cause a construction worker or visitor to trip.  Sharp objects may also protrude into the passageway causing one to fall.

Our experienced Mississippi construction accident slip, trip and fall accident lawyers utilize construction industry experts and conduct a thorough investigation of construction accidents.  We also engage in meticulous discovery to obtain evidence of OSHA violations or other safety regulations.  We often identify multiple potential third party defendants for a personal injury lawsuit to supplement a workers’ compensation claim against an employer.  At Barrett Law, our experienced Mississippi personal injury lawyers represent injury victims throughout Mississippi.  Our law firm has roots that reach back 75 years so contact us today for your free initial consultation at (662) 834-2376 to see how we can help.

Understanding Mississippi Slip, Trip and Fall Cases

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys Explain Premises Liability

If you were injured in an accident on a commercial property, you may have a viable premises liability claim. The businesses and individuals who own commercial properties are legally obligated to maintain their properties in a condition that is reasonably safe for those people who lawfully enter them. When a business owner fails to provide a reasonably safe environment for their business invitees, those invitees may become injured. When that happens, the injured party may pursue a premises liability claim against the property owner. Depending upon how your injury occurred, you may have a specific type of premises liability claim called a slip, trip, and fall claim. A slip, trip, and fall claim is exactly what it sounds like – you slipped or tripped and fell while you were on someone else’s property, and you were injured as the result of the fall.

If you slip, trip or fall while you are visiting a commercial property like a restaurant, grocery store, retail shop, or other type of establishment, it is important to determine what caused your fall. It could have been a missing floor tile, spilled food or drink, merchandise that was not on a rack or a shelf, or some other foreign substance or piece of debris. The item or condition which caused you to slip or trip and fall is an important element in your claim for damages, and your attorney will want to conduct a thorough investigation of the accident scene and look for answers to important questions about the item or condition which caused your fall. The information that your attorney gathers at the accident scene is crucial support for your claim for damages.

Because evidence from the accident scene is vital to a claim for damages in a slip, trip, and fall case, accident victims should contact a personal injury attorney right away. The types of witnesses and evidence that are involved in slip, trip, and fall cases include things that may get repaired in order to prevent additional injuries to other people, witnesses who may change jobs frequently, security camera footage that may only be available for a limited time from the date that it is filmed, and other types of information that is available only temporarily.

Fortunately, it is not necessary that you know the full extent of your injuries before you contact an attorney, just as it is not necessary that you feel any pain before seeking medical attention following a slip, trip, and fall accident. Both your doctor and your lawyer can do a better job of helping you if you seek their assistance immediately.

Perhaps the most important thing that you can do after a slip, trip, and fall accident is to get immediate medical attention whether you feel hurt or not. Some injuries that can be caused by falling, including some severe and life threatening injuries, cannot always be felt right away. Doctors know how to check patients for these and other injuries after they have been involved in a slip, trip, and fall accident. Being seen by a doctor as soon as possible after your accident ensures that any injuries that you do have can be treated promptly. It also ensures that a record of your treatment is created, which is important for proving your damages in a slip, trip, and fall accident claim.

Barrett Law PLLC: Serving the Needs of Injured Parties throughout Mississippi  

Thousands of Americans die and millions of others are injured on commercial properties every year because property owners do not keep their premises safe. The Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC may be able to help you if you have been injured in a slip, trip, and fall accident. Our experienced team of attorneys can evaluate your claim and help you understand what your options are. To learn more, please call us today, at (662) 834-2376 to schedule an initial consultation.

Massive Verdict in McDonalds Case Shows Potential Seriousness of Slip and Falls

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Because of the way that injuries resulting from slip and fall accidents are portrayed in the media, it is easy to assume that most slip and falls are trifles that do not cause significant injuries.  However, a major verdict against McDonalds for a slip and fall in the popular fast food restaurant belies the notion that falls are “no big deal.”  McDonalds was ordered to a pay a judgment in excess of $5 million by a federal grand jury for a slip and fall accident in which a 59 year-old woman suffered a severe injury to her spine.

The case illustrates the importance of carefully analyzing the maintenance policies of a business when debris, spilled liquids or other foreign substances on the floor cause a patron to suffer serious injuries in a fall.  The federal jury in the McDonalds slip and fall case determined that the fast food restaurant failed to follow its own policies for conducting inspections and cleaning up spills.  The experienced Mississippi slip and fall attorneys at Barrett Law recognize the importance of conducting a careful review of company maintenance policies in slip and fall accident cases.

The accident happened in a store owned by a franchisee who received a manual containing proper practices to prevent slip and fall accidents caused by spilled beverages, condiments, and similar items.  The guidelines indicated that the manager of the store should perform regular periodic checks of the floors and nightly checks as well.  The purpose of the checks is to discover spills of food or beverage that could make the floor surfaces slippery and to inspect for buildup of residue on the floor that may make it slick.

There was evidence produced at trial that this particular McDonalds was insufficiently staffed so that the inspections were not conducted.  The jury found that the failure to comply with the stores own policy to conduct the inspections resulted in the accumulation of a greasy coating on the floor that made it slippery.  The woman was awarded over $2.6 million for economic damages, such as lost income and diminished future earnings and $3 million for non-economic damages like diminished quality of life and pain and suffering.

When our Mississippi slip and fall attorneys at Barrett Law represent clients in accidents where they are injured in a fall, we conduct an investigation to determine whether the fall was caused by debris, liquid or other foreign substance on the floor as well as the duration of time that the hazard was present.  Our investigation also typically will include talking to witnesses and store employees, reviewing surveillance footage, reviewing the incident reports, identifying past accidents, evaluating procedures employed by the property owner to avoid such accidents, and other relevant factors.

The accident victim in the McDonald’s slip and fall case suffered a burst compression fracture to her vertebrae at the L1 level that required two separate operations.  If you or someone you love has been injured in a slip and fall accident or someone close you has died, our experienced Mississippi slip and fall attorneys at Barrett Law can investigate your claim and advise you regarding your rights.  At the Barrett Law Offices PLLC, our experienced Mississippi personal injury lawyers represent injury victims throughout Mississippi.  Our law firm has roots that reach back 75 years so contact us today for your free initial consultation at (662) 834-2376 to see how we can help.

Mississippi Slip and Fall Accidents Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Slip and fall accidents are often the result of commercial property owners that operate retail stores, supermarkets and eateries that fail to take reasonable measure to protect patrons from foreign substances on the floor or objects that block walkways.  Although some people assume that slip and fall accidents routinely result in relatively minor injuries, the reality is that many slip and falls result in life-altering injuries and even fatalities.  The elderly are particularly vulnerable to suffering serious injury in slip and fall accidents.  When pursuing compensation for a slip and fall accident in Mississippi, our experienced Mississippi slip and fall attorneys can carefully investigate slip and fall accidents to develop an effective litigation strategy for our slip and fall injury clients.  We have provided some answers to frequently asked questions about slip and fall claims.

If I am injured by an unsafe condition on another’s premises, am I entitled to compensation?

Many people presume that if they are injured by a hazard on the property of another, they can successfully pursue damages.  The reality is that there are many factors that impact whether you can successfully seek a legal claim for slip and fall accident.  Some of the relevant factors include the reason that you are on the property, the nature of the hazard, the duration of time the hazard has been present and other factors.  Generally, a property owner has a duty to keep his/her property in safe condition and to take reasonable measures to eliminate hazardous conditions on their property.

What are common causes of Mississippi slip and fall accidents?

  • Falls on wet freshly mopped floors without adequate warnings or barriers
  • Tripping over objects in the aisles of stores
  • Accidents resulting from tripping over barricades
  • Falls caused by failure to properly inspect and clean floors
  • Defective stairway accidents

 

Are most injuries in slip and fall accidents relatively minor?

There are approximately 300,000 slip and fall accidents annually that result in some form of “debilitating” injury.  The elderly are particularly susceptible to severe injuries in slip and fall accidents with almost two people per hour suffering fatal injury in a slip and fall accident.

What types of compensation is available in a Mississippi slip and fall accident?

When you are injured by the negligence of a property owner who fails to take reasonable measures to make their premises safe or warn of dangerous conditions, an injury victim may be able to recover both economic damages like lost income, lost future earnings and medical expenses as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering, impaired enjoyment of life and other forms of damages.

Does someone’s purpose for being on the property of another affect their legal obligations to make the premises safe?

 

Generally, property owners have a greater duty to protect those on the property for a legitimate basis that benefits both parties than someone who is merely visiting as a social guest.  If a person is on the property to conduct business, provide maintenance or repair services, participate in a meeting of a civic organization or other purpose that benefits both parties, the property owner basically has a legal obligation to make the premises safe.  When someone is only a social guest, the property owner must warn or correct hazards that the property owner knows exist.

Can a property owner be liable for injuries suffered by a trespasser.

Generally, a property owner has the lowest level of responsibility to those who trespass.  A property owner may be liable for known hazards if the owner knows the trespasser is present on the premises.  The premise owner also may be liable if injuries are caused by traps designed to harm a trespasser.  A child trespasser also is treated differently.  Because children may lack the age and experience to appreciate hazardous conditions on the premises, property owners may be liable to a child that trespasses based on the attractive nuisance doctrine.  The attractive nuisance doctrine basically imposes liability on property owners for conditions that may be attractive but not appreciated by children.  The classic example is a swimming pool.

While this information may answer some of your questions about Mississippi slip and fall accidents, the best option for obtaining more detailed information is to speak to a Mississippi slip and fall attorney at Barrett Law.  Our Mississippi law firm understands the importance of careful investigation and discovery in slip and fall cases and works diligently to obtain the best possible result for our clients.  The experienced Mississippi slip and fall accident attorneys at Barrett Law have been providing aggressive representation to Mississippi slip and fall victims for over 75 years.  We provide diligent legal representation and impassioned advocacy so we invite you to call us today at 662-834-2376 to learn how we can help.

 

Slip, Trip and Falls Pose Serious Danger to Mississippi Seniors

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

While most people in Mississippi are aware of the danger associated with a serious falls, the scope and seriousness of an accident risk is much more severe than many people realize.  It is estimated that 424,000 people die in fatal falls annually world wide according to the United Nations Health Agency.  There are another 37 million people who seek medical treatment annually according to the organization.  Falls can occur in many ways including falls from ladders or scaffoldings on construction sites, slip and fall accidents on wet floors in stores and restaurants and trip and fall incidents involving poorly maintained sidewalks.  Many people presume slip, trip and fall accidents are minor events that do more damage to one’s ego than to one’s person.  This is simply not accurate as slip, trip and fall accidents often result in catastrophic debilitating injuries and even wrongful death.

The danger posed by falls increases with age with many elderly residents of Mississippi suffering serious injuries in falls.  Seniors may be more susceptible to serious falls because of cognitive, visual and physical changes that occur with age.  The scope of the problem is revealed by the fact that almost a third of older people over the age of 65 will fall at some time during a typical year based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC).  Falls are the leading cause of injury and hospital admissions for the elderly.  Almost twenty thousand seniors die in fatal falls per year, meaning that not only are the elderly more prone to a fall, but they also tend to suffer more serious injuries.

There are certain steps that you can take to help reduce the risk of your elderly loved one suffering serious injury in a fall including:

  • Keep common walkways clear of obstructions and debris
  • Maintaining reasonable fitness through diet and exercise
  • Obtain appropriate osteoporosis screening
  • Installation of handicap bars and railing in bathrooms and walkways
  • Maintain awareness of drugs that may cause dizziness, drowsiness or disorientatio

While these measures may reduce the risk of dangerous falls for seniors in their homes, this will not necessarily protect seniors against falls in businesses or nursing homes.  If your elderly loved one suffers serious injury in a fall while patronizing a business or as a resident in a nursing home, the business owner or nursing home staff have an obligation to warn of potential hazards that are not obvious and keep the premises reasonably safe.  When a business owner or nursing home proprietor fails to take appropriate safeguards to prevent injury to those who come on their property, they may be liable for any resulting injuries.

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Barrett Law have been providing tenacious representation to accident victims for over 75 years.  Our experienced and committed legal team provides innovative litigation trial strategies, effective negotiation and persuasive advocacy for slip, trip and fall victims.  We understand that you may have questions about your rights and remedies so we invite you to call us today at 662-834-2376 to learn how we can help.

 

Admissibility of Prior Accidents in Mississippi Slip and Fall Lawsuits

Friday, May 20th, 2011

A key issue in many slip and fall cases is whether a business owner knew or should have known of hazardous conditions on the premises.  One of the most compelling and persuasive types of evidence for juries in such a situation is evidence of prior similar slip and fall or trip and fall accidents at the Mississippi business establishment.  However, courts recognize that evidence of this kind can have a dramatic effect and will sometimes exclude such evidence if its probative value is outweighed by the prejudice it may cause.  If the evidence is not highly relevant to the specific accident in a personal injury lawsuit, the court may choose to exclude the evidence.  A Mississippi slip and fall case against Wal-Mart, Yoste v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 822 So. 2d 935 (Miss. 2002), provides insight into the analysis conducted by a Mississippi court when deciding whether to permit evidence of prior slip and fall accidents on the premises.

The Wal-Mart customer brought a personal injury lawsuit in Madison County for a slip and fall that occurred in the store’s parking lot.  The Mississippi slip and fall victim alleged that the store negligently maintained its parking lot. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the store.  The customer argued the trial court erred by excluding evidence of previous accidents that had occurred in the store parking lot after other customers tripped on uneven pavement.  The court indicated that evidence of prior accidents is admissible only upon a showing of substantial similarity of conditions.  The key problem is that the customer was not sure what caused his fall.  Therefore, the court held the evidence of the prior accidents offered by the customer were too remote and dissimilar not to be prejudicial. The court also held that the evidence had questionable probative value since the customer could not conclusively state what caused him to fall.

The admission of the prior accidents often will be excluded if they are not in the immediate vicinity of the plaintiff’s accident and/or the plaintiff is not able to establish that the hazards that caused the plaintiff’s fall are the same as in the prior accidents.  These past accidents may be excluded because they have little probative value given the lack of similarity between the accidents, and the risk that they will prejudice the jury into assuming that because past slip and falls were caused by uneven pavement that this accident must have been caused the same way.

The fundamental issue is that when prior accidents are offered as evidence in a Mississippi slip and fall lawsuit, the facts and circumstances of the prior slip and fall incident must strongly correlate to proving the existence of the dangerous condition in the case before the court.  Mississippi slip and fall cases generally are very fact intensive so it is critical to work with an experienced Mississippi slip and fall accident attorney who will carefully investigate the facts surrounding your slip and fall accident.

At Barrett Law PLLC, we represent slip and fall victims throughout the State of Mississippi.  We have built a reputation for providing diligent and compassionate legal representation to Mississippi injury victims based on zealous representation and empathy with our clients.  If you have been seriously injured in a slip and fall accident, we understand the physical, financial and emotional challenges that you are facing so call us today at 662-834-2376 to see how we can help.