Seeking Compensation for Slip and Fall Accidents in Restaurants
Restaurant Owners Should Provide not Only a Good Menu, but also a Safe Environment for Their Customers
When you are out enjoying a meal, a slip and fall or personal injury is likely the last thing on your mind. Residents and visitors of Pennsylvania enjoy eating out, whether grabbing a hot cup of coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks on their morning commute, soaking in the ambiance of a local eatery hotspot, or enjoying an unbeatable Philly Cheesesteak for lunch. Unfortunately, restaurants and other dining venues are often the scenes of slip and fall accidents, and dealing with the claims process can be a demanding experience.
When you suffer injuries from a slip and fall accident in Pennsylvania, you or someone you love may wonder if you are eligible for compensation, how to navigate the complicated claim process, where to begin, and how much time you have to file your claim. You can find answers to questions regarding restaurant slip and fall accidents, premises liability, how to pursue compensation, and related concerns below.
Is It Possible to Seek Compensation for a Slip and Fall in a Restaurant?
Yes, if you slip and fall in any Pennsylvania restaurant or dining facility, you should investigate your options for compensation. Note that pursuing compensation is more likely to succeed when the owner’s negligence plays a role in the accident. For example, you enter a restaurant, are seated by the hostess, order drinks from your server, but before checking out the menu any further, you decide to head to the restroom. Your back and head are injured when you slip and fall on your way to the restaurant bathroom. A leak caused water to drip down onto the floor. There is a noticeable stain on the wall caused by what appears to be a long-neglected leak.
The scene is, unfortunately, a typical example of negligence by an establishment’s owner. In such a case, a victim should consult with an attorney and begin the process of filing a personal injury claim. Victims are entitled to compensation for medical expenses, prescription costs, transportation fees to appointments, lost wages (if they miss work or cannot perform their duties due to their injury), and other accident and injury-related expenditures. Notably, negligence is not the only cause of a slip and fall injury in a restaurant. Your lawyer can look for negligence in your accident and determine whether negligence occurred. If the owner can be held liable, a talented slip and fall attorney can also assist with preparing and proving your case.
Common Causes of Slip and Falls in Restaurants
As discussed above, negligence is one of the most common causes of restaurant slip and fall accidents. Many other factors, such as hazardous conditions, cause severe harm to customers on restaurant property (inside or outside the building). For instance, if ice or snow covers an entryway or walkway on restaurant property and is not cleaned off adequately for customer safety, or lack of a warning sign (such as a wet floor sign) in the restaurant or anywhere on property where a danger exists. Some slip and falls occur due to insufficient lighting. A severe injury may result from sharp tools (that should not be left in customer-accessible areas) or sharp edges due to damage or disrepair.
Moreover, cracks in walkways, debris from ongoing construction, and exposed or loosely hanging electrical wires can all contribute to accidents. Torn carpeting or loose floorboards in a restaurant can also cause injuries if left out for use or not marked as a hazard by proper signage. When there is no warning sign or the floor is not roped off, recently waxed floors can also lead to slips and falls. Slip and fall personal injury attorneys have even seen mislabeling doors as the cause for slip and falls. A bathroom sign incorrectly marking the entrance to the restaurant basement can result in a potentially life-threatening injury.
Even cleaning products can leave a restaurant liable for a slip and fall injury. For example, if the floor is improperly cleaned and left covered in a film of soap or other slippery cleaning solution, the result can be a nasty back injury from a slip and fall. Improperly cleaning or neglecting grease on restaurant floors or beverage and food spills can endanger restaurant patrons. Lastly, staff intention or poor employee training can lead to slips and falls. An employee who walks through a restaurant with a tray of hot foods stops abruptly to chat with a friend at the hostess stand but knocks into a customer, causing them to fall and potentially get burned.
Typical Injuries from Restaurant Slip and Fall Accidents
There is a wide range of severity regarding slip and fall injuries. Injuries can be minor or have faster recovery times, while others can be more serious, requiring long-term medical treatments and chronic pain management. Slip and fall accidents in restaurants can result in, but are not limited to, any of the following injuries: lacerations (cuts), minor burns (superficial or first-degree burns), second and third-degree burns (more serious, longer to heal, or result in permanent damage and could require skin graft), sprained ankle, strained or sprained wrists, broken bones, torn ligaments, dislocation of the shoulder, torn rotator cuff, spinal cord damage and injury, nerve damage, neck injury, concussions and traumatic brain injury (TBI), injuries to the face from the impact of a fall or sharp objects, and puncture wounds.
All of these injuries cause pain, including chronic pain in many cases. If you suffer from a slip and fall injury, you can experience pain and disability that disrupt your life for the duration of recovery or permanently.
What Matters when Determining Compensation for a Restaurant-Related Slip and Fall Injury
Compensation amounts vary from accident to accident depending on all the factors described above and the damages and injuries sustained.
Take Action Immediately after Slipping and Falling in a Restaurant or Dining Establishment
After a slip and fall, it is imperative to seek medical attention, document your injuries in detail, and contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney immediately. For personal injury claims such as slips and falls, the Pennsylvania statute of limitations is two years from when the injury occurred.
Connect with a Personal Injury Lawyer to Seek Compensation for Your Slip and Fall Accident in a PA Restaurant – Free Consultation
The claim process can be complicated by insurance companies and, in many cases, the restaurant’s legal representation, even in slip-and-fall cases that appear clear-cut. Focusing on your recovery is critical, but medical costs and related expenses quickly mount, creating significant debts, which makes filing a claim an essential priority. Stress from medical debt, pain, and suffering from an injury can often hinder individuals from pursuing slip and fall claims.
An experienced personal injury slip and fall attorney at Cohen & Riechelson can alleviate the stress of the claims process and assist you or a loved one injured in restaurant, bar, hotel, or another location where the property owner failed to mitigate potential hazards that may cause injuries to patrons like you. We can help you prepare your claim if you were injured in a restaurant in Warminster, Langhorne, Warrington, Doylestown, Croydon, and throughout Northeast Philadelphia & Lower Bucks County, Pennsylvania. You may contact our law firm at (215) 337-4915 or fill out our intake form and schedule a free consultation today.