Archive for June, 2009


Wal Mart Slip and Fall Case – Expert Advice

June 22, 2009

The following is an expert answer given by Florida Premises Liability Lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Subject: Slip and fall at Wal-mart

Question: I went to my local Walmart the other night (two days ago to be exact).

I got a hand held basket and did my shopping. When I was done, I remembered I needed some ice. So, I proceeded to the front of the store to where the ice cooler is located. When I got to the front of the store, I walked between some empty cash register isles. This is where I slipped and fell on some wet crushed lettuce, or crushed green grapes…

I did get hurt. I filed a statement with the assistant manager of the store on a paper that I signed and he signed. Also, I got a copy of it. He told me that someone would contact me…. which they have not yet. I did go the local ER where I got checked. They said I have a soft tissue injury that includes all my back from lower to upper and rib cage, right arm pulled tissue. Also, a badly bruised right knee with swelling and stiffness.  The doctor told me to do NOTHING for 7 days – no work, no lifting , etc… The doctor also put me on muscle relaxers 3 times a day for 7 days. I can’t drive or do anything on these meds. If I am not better in a week’s time,  I am to come back to get checked again.

How long does it take for Walmart to contact me about this? Or is it a insurance adjuster that calls?  I have great insurance and that has already taken care of the hospital. How much do you think they would offer me to settle? If I don’t settle, how much could this slip and fall case be worth?

Thanks for the general info…

Answer: Again, I’m not licensed in Maine, but I can give you some insight to dealing with Wal Mart.  My first suggestion is to speak with an experienced slip and fall case attorney in your area.  Wal Mart will not pay much attention to your claim without an attorney, and any offer they eventually make will not be a very good one.

Your questions are about whether you should settle, and if so, for how much.  It would be tough to answer those questions right now without knowing more about your injuries.  Once you go to the doctor, and he/she is able to fully diagnose and treat your knee and back, the value of your claim may become a little more clear.  For instance, if in a few days your soreness and bruising clears up, and you have no residual problems, the value of your claim is probably not very much.  On the other hand, if your knee or back doesn’t get better, maybe gets worse to the point you need surgery, the value obviously goes up.

You also should speak with an attorney to evaluate the "liability" aspect of your claim.  At least in Florida, stores such as Wal Mart are not responsible for injuries arising out of a slip and fall case in their
store unless the condition that caused the slip and fall, here a piece of lettuce or a grape, was one that Wal Mart knew existed on the floor, or should have known it existed on the floor, and did not take
reasonable measures to clean it up or warn customers of its existence. There are different ways to show this, and different fact to examine to try and satisfy this burden of proof.  A Maine attorney experienced in a slip and fall case such as this can tell you what you have to prove to hold Wal Mart responsible for your fall.

Keep in mind that most slip and fall/personal injury attorneys handle claims like this on a contingent basis.  If there is no recovery, you do not owe an attorney’s fee.  Also, most attorneys offer a free initial consultation, so you have nothing to lose in getting an expert opinion from a lawyer in your area.

Lastly, most attorneys that do this type of work have handled cases against Wal Mart before.  The attorney will know that Wal Mart claims are handled out of Bentonville, AR by inhouse adjustors.  If you speed up the process of hearing from Wal Mart, you need to call them in AR and find the claim #, and the name of the adjustor assigned to handling the case.  BUT – if you’re considering getting a slip and fall case attorney, I would do it before you speak to Wal Mart.

Good luck.

For more information about a Florida slip and fall case, contact Florida premises liability lawyer, Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at or email him today.


Florida Overtime Wage Claims

June 19, 2009

In the workplace, it often seems like employers hold the ultimate power. They have the final say on how much workers get paid, how many hours they work, and who works and who is fired. Given such power, workers often feel intimidated and fail to question or challenge employers who violate their rights. Alternatively, workers may not even know what their rights are. Overtime wages is a common area where employers take advantage of their workers, and employees should protect themselves by becoming familiar with the applicable labor laws.

In the United States, one of the primary laws dealing with overtime is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), passed in 1937. It established a legal work week of 40 hours, mandating a special overtime rate of 1.5 times normal wages for any hours worked beyond that limit.

One of the common ways that employers avoid paying overtime is by forcing workers to work “off the clock.” This practice involves prohibiting employers from recording the total number of hours worked, not paying for time spent on legally mandated breaks, forcing employees to work weekends without clocking in, or ordering employees to report an artificially low number of hours worked. Many employees who fall victim to these practices are unaware that they are illegal in the U.S. and that they are entitled to overtime pay.

Other common misconceptions about overtime pay include the fact that you may have a Florida overtime wage claim and be entitled to further compensation even if you are:

  • Paid a salary
  • Compensated by tips
  • Paid on a piecemeal basis
  • Not a U.S. citizen
  • Missing records for all hours worked

An important concern for workers whose employers are not properly  compensating them for overtime worked is that if they file a complaint, they risk losing their job or other punishments. Fortunately for workers, the FLSA prohibits employers from engaging in any retaliation against a worker who asserts his or her rights.

Workers who are concerned about their rights under the FLSA should contact a professional overtime attorney. Experienced attorneys know the complex labor laws extremely well and can help you recover the Florida overtime wage that may be owed to you, in addition to potential damage claims.

If you have a question or need information about Florida overtime wage claims, contact Florida overtime attorney Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at, or email him today. The Law Office of Joseph M. Maus and Associates has handled some of the largest Florida overtime wage claims. Attorneys in their office were recently appointed in Federal Court as lead counsel in an Overtime Class Action against a large Fortune 500 Company. Call their offices today for a free consultation or to obtain more information on Florida overtime wage claims.


Car Dealership Slip And Fall Case – Expert Advice

June 17, 2009

The following is an expert answer given by Florida Premises Liability Lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Subject: Slip and Fall case at Car Dealership

Question: I was at a used car dealership in Stuart, Florida and I fell down the top step of a pair of wobbly wooden stairs. The stairs had about six steps. I also was holding my 7 month old son in my hand when I fell. I landed on my back on the bottom step. When the owner and co-workers saw me fall, they did not try to call an ambulance or write an incident report. I got drove to the ER right after. Do I have a case and how much money am I looking at?

Answer: A property/business owner in Florida owes two duties to people lawfully on the property/business – 1. maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition, and 2.  warn business invitees (customers and people legally on the property) of dangerous conditions that the person may not be able to appreciate on their own.

That means that the car dealership, and possibly the person that owned the building, was required to keep the stairs in a safe condition.  Your question says that the stairs were wobbly.  If by wobbly, you mean they were not stable and would move back and forth, and not being stable is what caused you to fall, then you most likely have a cause of action against the business and the person that owned the building.

Your email says you drove to the ER after the fall, but it does not indicate what your injuries are, and how severe the injury is.  Do you need additional medical treatment?  Have any diagnostic tests been done, i.e. x-rays, MRI’s?

In Florida, you can make a claim for another parties negligence under a slip and fall case.  The damages you can recover are for medical injuries, medical bills, lost wages and loss of future earning capacity, and pain and suffering.  The amount you may be able to recover depends on a number of factors.  These include the nature and severity of your injury, how much medical care you received and whether you need any additional care in the future, whether the injury has caused you to miss time from work, or prevented you from returning to your chosen profession, and additional damages for pain and suffering.  Right now, without knowing more about the stairs and the extent of your injuries, it would be difficult to give you an accurate estimate of the slip and fall case value.

If you want to pursue a claim, you should retain an attorney right away. You need someone experienced in premises liability claims to investigate the claim now before critical evidence/witnesses are lost. You also need to seek follow up medical care after the ER.

I handle premises liability claims (a slip and fall case) on a contingent basis.  That means there are no attorneys fees if we do not recover money for your injury. If there is a recovery, the attorney fee is a percentage of what is recovered, usually 33%.  If there is no recovery, you do not owe anything.  I am also AV rated by Martindale Hubbell, the highest legal ability and ethical rating awarded.

For more information about a slip and fall case, contact Florida premises liability lawyer Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at, or email him today.

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