Restaurants offer a much-needed reprieve from cooking and cleaning at home. However, they can also present slip and fall hazards that leave you injured and facing devastating medical expenses. When out at a restaurant, you should always watch where you’re going, and observe all wet floor signs.
Even if you practiced extreme caution while at a restaurant, you might still find yourself searching “slip and fall attorneys near me” after a painful restaurant experience. Maybe you didn’t see a hazard, or perhaps you weren’t able to react quickly enough once you did see it. No matter the circumstances under which your slip and fall occurred at a restaurant, the steps you take after the accident will matter.
Conditions for a Personal Injury Slip and Fall Case
To evaluate whether you have a slip and fall case against the restaurant, you’ll need to explore a few key aspects of the situation. The first is whether or not you were a trespasser, licensee, or invitee in the restaurant.
If you were a licensee or invitee at the restaurant—meaning you were invited there or were there on business, such as a delivery person, the restaurant owner owes you a duty of care to keep the premises safe from hazards or to warn you of their existence if they cannot make it safe.
Next, you and your slip and fall attorney need to evaluate whether negligence caused the accident. Generally speaking, restaurant negligence can be broken into a few common scenarios. These include:
- The floor hazard that caused your slip or trip and fall was present for a long time. In this amount of time, any other reasonable business would have cleared the hazard.
- The slip and fall hazard was foreseeable, and the restaurant should have avoided it entirely or reacted quicker to remove the hazard.
- The hazardous condition was created by an employee or agent of the restaurant, such as a waiter spilling a drink, or dropping food without cleaning it up or placing a sign to warn of the hazard.
Additionally, your choice of actions when presented with the hazard might come into play. For example, if there is adequate signage near a lobster tank stating that water might splash out, or there’s a wet floor sign present and visible, you might have some responsibility for getting too close or ignoring the warning signs.
What To Do If You Slip and Fall at a Restaurant
Should you ever suffer a slip and fall at a restaurant, you must act quickly to document the scene, your injuries, and any witness accounts. This will help protect your right to seek legal compensation for your injuries later, should you need medical attention.
- Seek immediate medical attention if your injuries are severe. Ask someone to call 9-1-1 if you need immediate attention. If not, be sure to visit your regular doctor within a day or so of the accident to review and document your injuries.
- Notify someone in charge of the restaurant. This might be the restaurant owner or a manager on duty at the time. You should document that you slipped and fell in case you discover you have late-onset injuries. During this process, it’s very important that you do not tell the person in charge that you are fine.
- Take photos of the area where the accident occurred, and make sure to gather information about the hazard. For example, if it’s a leaky freezer, be sure that you show the water is coming from there. Or if the carpet is torn, take a photo of the torn area.
- Gather witness accounts and their contact information. Witnesses can help your slip and fall attorney prove your case.
- Search for “slip and fall attorneys near me,” and contact a reputable law firm for a case evaluation. Goldman & Daszkal is a firm of outstanding Florida attorneys. We offer a free consultation so clients can get to know us and our skills before hiring our team.
Failing to document the scene and report your accident to the property owner or business owner can make it more difficult to seek legal compensation for your injuries. You shouldn’t feel like your injuries are too small to seek compensation or feel silly for slipping and falling! The restaurant owner has a duty of care to ensure a safe environment for customers. Breaching that duty of care means that the restaurant owner should face consequences, and that you are entitled to just compensation.
Experienced Slip and Fall Attorneys in Florida
No matter the circumstances surrounding your slip and fall, you should investigate your legal options. We’re happy to discuss your unique situation with you. You can trust that our experienced team will help guide you in making the right decision for you and your finances after a slip and fall in a restaurant.
Each situation is different, so even if you think your slip and fall is just like your friend’s or neighbor’s, it’s still worth exploring your options with a slip and fall attorney. Contact us to schedule your free consultation and discuss your slip and fall accident.