Going out for a family meal should be a fun experience. A rewarding treat for the end of a long day, or a long week. When you go to a restaurant, your safety is in the hands of everyone working at the restaurant, from the cook to the person who cleans the floor.
If someone doesn’t do his or her job, like making sure that a "wet floors" sign is up after mopping, your life can change at a moment’s notice. This is especially true with a slip-and-fall accident. A slip-and-fall accident can cause severe injury to you, and alter your earning potential, and your quality of life immensely.
Potential Hazards in a Fast Food Restaurant
As food is being served and there is a high amount of customer traffic, slip-and-fall hazards can be found in many different forms in a fast food restaurant.
- Grease from the cooked chickens can find its way to the floor. Few things are as slippery as grease on a smooth floor.
- Poor lighting can result in tripping over a display, or a rug in the store.
- Spilled drinks that have not been cleaned present a slip-and-fall hazard.
- A freshly washed floor that has not been properly labelled is a slip-and-fall danger.
- Water or urine on the floor of a bathroom in a restaurant can result in a slip and fall.
If you intend filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit against Chick Fil A, or any other fast food restaurant, you must be able to show that the company, or the franchisee, was negligent and that the negligence directly caused your injury by making conditions unsafe. In the case of a fast food restaurants, the fact that you slipped over on a puddle of liquid or on something messy does not always mean that the restaurant owner or manager was negligent.
Negligence would be evident if the mess was known about for some time but wasn’t removed, or a wet, slippery floor had no warning posted. It would be unreasonable to expect a restaurant owner to clear away a patch of food that had fallen off a customer’s plate immediately, but if the staff were told about it several times, but the mess was still there an hour later, then this would indicate poor safety standards and an example of negligence.
If you are trying to prove negligence caused your slip and fall injury, you should consider these two main sources of evidence.
- Security cameras installed in the restaurant are likely to show when a hazard first appeared on the restaurant floor and when the accident took place. If you have filed a claim against a fast food restaurant, your attorney can issue a sub-poena to have the restaurant allow access to video coverage if available on that day and time.
- Other customers or even members of staff who were present in the restaurant may have noticed when the hazard appeared and also saw you slip and fall over. These people may be very useful eye witnesses whose statements can help your case against the restaurant.
How an Attorney Can Help Gather Evidence For Your Claim
It is important to have convincing evidence that supports your claim. This includes evidence of negligence as has been described above, as well as documentation that helps to justify the damages you have claimed. This includes:
- doctor’s report and diagnosis;
- results of tests;
- bills or invoices for doctor’s fees and other medical costs;
- estimates of possible future medical costs;
- evidence of recent earnings to use in calculating compensation for earnings that have been lost.
An attorney can help with documentation and find experts who can estimate future costs and provide justification for non-economic damages sought.
Past Slip-and-fall Cases
There have been several lawsuits and claims made against restaurant franchisees following slip and fall injuries. Many of these lawsuits did not in fact result in a compensation payment being awarded. The most common reason was that the amount of time a manager or staff at a restaurant had to notice and respond to a hazard was insufficient to be considered unreasonable.
Speak With an Attorney Today
If you go to a fast food restaurant for a quick bite, and you slip-and-fall, you may be able to get compensation for your injury if the restaurant was responsible for your accident. If your injury impacts your ability to do your job, a settlement in your favor can relieve the severe financial burden the slip-and-fall put on you. If someone has not done their job at the restaurant, it should not result in you not being able to do your job.
Contact an attorney as soon as possible if you have been involved in a slip-and-fall accident for the best chance of getting the compensation you need.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Chick Fil A, or any other party you may not be entitled to any compensation.