Who Pays The Hospital Tab if You are Injured at a Restaurant?
(IntegrityMag.com) – Have you ever seen a “Wet Floor” sign at a restaurant? Businesses don’t put those warnings there just for health and safety purposes. Those signs protect them from civil liability in the event someone falls on a patch of wet floor and injures themselves.
However, there’s more to it than that. If you injure yourself after a fall at a bar or restaurant, you may be entitled to compensation from the company.
Who Was at Fault?
In civil lawsuits, the outcome always depends on which party was more responsible for an incident based on the available evidence. Restaurants must keep their patrons safe from dangers they know about or can reasonably foresee. For example, if an establishment serves undercooked food, they may be liable if guests fall ill.
So, if you fall in a restaurant because of some hazard staff should have known about and made safer, the establishment might owe you compensation. Some key factors to consider here include:
- Was the floor you slipped on wet?
- If so, did you see a “Wet Floor” sign?
- If you tripped over a step, was there a sign warning you about the step or markings showing the edges of the step?
- Was the floor surface too slippery to walk on safely?
- Was the building adequately lit?
- Did you fall because of a maintenance issue, such as a torn carpet?
Were You Partially at Fault?
If you file suit against the restaurant, their legal representation may try to argue you were at least partially at fault for your fall. They may highlight certain aspects of your demeanor or dress that might indicate you put yourself at risk of falling. For example, they may ask;
- Were you intoxicated at the time of your fall?
- Were you using your phone when you fell?
- Did some item of your clothing or footwear, such as an untied shoelace or spike high heels, contribute to your fall?
Depending on your state, you may still be able to recover some damages even if you were partially at fault for your fall. This concept is called comparative negligence. If you live in a state that does not use this doctrine, a court may determine that you were more at fault for the incident than the restaurant and dismiss your lawsuit.
What to Do if You Slip and Fall at a Restaurant
If you injure yourself at a restaurant, make sure to document everything about your surroundings after the fall, particularly any hazard that may have contributed to your fall. Also, you should seek medical care without delay if you think there’s any chance you may have suffered a serious injury.
If you think you deserve compensation from the restaurant, contact a lawyer without delay. The more quickly you decide to pursue a case, the better your chances of a positive outcome.
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