Five Common Causes of Slip and Fall Injuries at Restaurants
A night out at one of Seattle’s many restaurants can be a special family treat, an enjoyable date, or a celebration with friends. However, it can turn into the opposite of fun if you are injured in a slip and fall accident at the restaurant. You could be off work for months or longer while you recover from your injuries. However, if the restaurant owner’s negligence was the cause of your fall, you may be able to hold him responsible for compensating you for your expensive medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Why Do Guests Slip, Fall, and Trip at Restaurants?
If you suffered injuries in a fall at a restaurant, it is important to understand that you must prove the owner’s negligence in order to have a claim for compensation. In order to do this, you must show that the owner or his employees were aware of a hazardous condition and did nothing to correct the problem or to warn guests of the dangers. Common hazards that cause victims to slip, fall, and trip include:
Wet floors. Spills of food and drink can create slippery conditions when staff do not clean them up promptly. Bathrooms can also become dangerous when water and soap spills, toilet paper, and paper towels litter the floor, and the bathrooms are not inspected and cleaned on a regular schedule—common when restaurants are busy.
Flooring. In some restaurants, the floor elevation will change and can be a tripping hazard for unsuspecting patrons if not clearly marked. Flooring can also become cracked and carpeting can tear or fray due to high traffic. Restaurant owners have a duty to regularly inspect their flooring for wear and tear dangers and replace them when necessary.
Inadequate lighting. Many restaurants do not have adequate lighting in the seating area and in hallways leading to the restrooms. This can make it impossible for a person trying to be careful to see spilled liquids or a crack in the floor before he slips and falls.
Parking lots and sidewalks. Owners also have a duty to keep their parking lots and sidewalks free of ice and to repair cracks and potholes. The dangers to guests can be increased when there is also insufficient lighting for them to see the hazardous conditions.
Poorly positioned furniture. In some cases, slip and fall accidents are caused when restaurant owners cram too many tables and chairs in the room to accommodate more guests or arrange them in a way that creates tripping hazards.
What Should You Do If You Slip and Fall at a Restaurant?
If you slip or trip and fall at a restaurant, you need to take immediate steps to protect your health and your possible claim for compensation against the restaurant owner. Here are important first steps you should take:
Seek immediate medical care if you are hurt. Even if you do not believe you have an injury, you want to be examined by a doctor because some symptoms of certain conditions, like traumatic brain injury and back and spinal injuries, can take days or longer to develop.
Notify the owner and manager of your fall, and file an accident report.
Take pictures of where you fell and your injuries.
Obtain contact information for the restaurant, its insurance company, and any witnesses to your accident.
Retain an experienced slip and fall attorney as soon as possible for assistance in filing your claim and negotiating your settlement so that you receive what you deserve.
Did you or a family member suffer injuries in a slip and fall accident at a restaurant in the Seattle area? Our experienced slip and fall attorneys are here to discuss your situation with you and advise you on your right to compensation for your injuries. To learn more, call our office to schedule your free case review today.