Dining out in a restaurant or grabbing takeout on the way home is a convenient and often relaxing way to enjoy food and the company of family and friends. The last thing you expect is to fall and injure yourself in the restaurant or their parking lot. However, slips, trips, and falls are some of the most common causes of injuries in retail stores and restaurants. If you fall on the restaurant’s property, is the restaurant liable for compensating you for your injuries?
Property owners and operators have a legal duty to keep their property maintained in a safe manner and alert anyone on the property of potential hazards. When a person is injured on someone else’s property and that injury is caused by the owner’s negligence, the victim can file a personal injury claim seeking compensation. The claim or lawsuit would seek damages for any loss incurred because of the injury, such as the cost of medical treatment, lost income and pain and suffering. These types of cases, however, can raise complex legal issues that are best handled by an experienced slip and fall accident lawyer.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Trip, slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, though they are most prevalent in retail stores, restaurants, apartment complexes, and nursing homes. Common causes of slip and fall accidents often result from unsafe surface conditions or unsafe environmental conditions such as:
- Wet floors from a recent spill or mopping
- Loose floorboards causing an uneven surface
- Jagged or uneven concrete
- Defective stairs
- Cluttered floors, aisles or hallways
- Parking lot potholes or hazards
- Poorly removed or untreated ice or snow
- Cords and other exposed tripping hazards
- Poor lighting
Whatever the cause, it’s likely that you weren’t responsible for the hazard. The business should have known about it and fixed the issue. A skilled premises liability attorney can evaluate your case and advise you of your best options.
Is the Restaurant Liable for Your Accident?
Under New Jersey law, property owners owe a ‘duty of care’ to visitors on their property for business reasons, such as a customer at a restaurant or a shopper in a retail store. Property owners are required to warn all visitors of known hazards and dangers and must reasonably inspect for any hazards and dangers.
Slip and fall cases often come down to the businesses’ knowledge of the hazard and what they did to warn customers about the safety issue. For instance, imagine you are dining at a restaurant and a server spills a large pitcher of water on the floor near the bathrooms and then does nothing to clean it up or put up a ‘wet floor’ sign. If you walked to the restrooms after and then slipped, you may have a credible case to sue the restaurant because the server should have reported the spill, cleaned it up and then warned the customer about a slippery floor.
On the other hand, if another customer spills food on the floor, does not alert any employees and then seconds later you fall on the spilled food, it may be more difficult to prove that the restaurant should have known about the hazard since it had just happened. Slip and fall cases can be tricky. Before judging for yourself, consult with an experienced slip and fall accident lawyer who can advise you about the chances of recovering compensation for your injuries.
Brandon J. Broderick, Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a fall at a restaurant, you should consider discussing your case with an experienced slip and fall accident lawyer. You may be able to file a claim to recover medical expenses such as hospital bills, rehabilitative therapies, medications and other costs related to your care. In addition, you can seek lost income for the time away from work you missed to recover as well as damages for emotional trauma like pain and suffering.
At Brandon J Broderick, Attorney at Law, we believe in compassion and empathy and will aggressively litigate your claim to maximize your compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success, our top-rated law firm will get you the justice you deserve.