Help! I Slipped and Fell in Chipotle!*

Most diners go out for lunch and have a pleasant time. Unfortunately, accidents do happen and it is possible to be injured at any restaurant. Heading out to grab a quick lunch or dinner at a fast food restaurant can cause you to spend more than just a few dollars on your meal. You could end up with thousands of dollars of medical expenses if you’re hurt while dining there.

A slip and fall can happen at any restaurant, store, or other business. In the case of a restaurant there is much higher volume of people coming and going than in other restaurants which can cause slipper floors during rainy or snowy weather and if the business doesn’t keep the floors dry or put out mats slips are common. There is also a greater risk that employees or customers will spill food or beverages which can create a hazardous environment where slips and falls can happen easily.

Personal Injury and Your Claim

If you are hurt while eating at Chipotle Mexican Grill or any other restaurant the circumstances of your injury will ultimately define which area of law it will fall under. Generally, if you were not to blame for your accident, these injuries fall within an area of law known as personal injury.

Personal injury is rooted in civil law. The goal is to help victims be compensated for their injuries as long as the claim is brought before the end of the statute of limitations (the time you have to file your claim) and provided that the court agrees that the other party is primarily at fault.

There are four elements that make up a personal injury claim. If you were hurt at a restaurant and you believe that your injury fulfills these items, please speak with a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

Four Elements of Personal Injury

  • The restaurant owes a duty to customers. Although personal injury can include many things, we’re going to use a basic example. A duty means that someone is required to do or not do something for the safety of others. For example, Chipotle or any other fast food restaurant has a duty to let customers know if the floor is wet or slippery. This is usually done with signs alerting the public to the danger. The hazard should also be cleaned up by staff.
  • The duty must be unfulfilled. Using our example of a wet or slippery floor, if an employee knew that a floor was unsafe and they did not put out a sign and attempt to clean up the danger, that could be seen as unfulfilled duty.
  • An actual injury must occur. It’s not enough for there be a wet floor that no one does anything to clean up. Unless there’s an actual injury of some sort, there’s no claim. An actual injury can be physical, emotional, or financial. In the case of a slip and fall, it is often a physical injury that also causes unexpected medical expenses.
  • The injury must be caused by the breach. This is known as causation. If you are playing baseball and break your wrist, you know it was caused while you were playing baseball. If you went out to eat with a cast on due to your broken wrist and you slipped and fell, the slip and fall is not the reason why you broke your wrist. The injury wouldn’t be caused by a breach of duty. However, if you were in the restaurant and fell and broke an ankle, that may be seen as causation.

Slip And Fall Case Examples

There have been many slip and fall cases files against Chipotle restaurants all over the country. One of the biggest was the case of a Florida women who went into a Chipotle in Florida and ordered food. When she moved to the left at the cash register after paying for her food she slipped and fell due to a puddle near the window. She hit her head and severely injured her back. The puddle was there because there was a leak in the roof that had not been repaired. This had been an ongoing documented problem and the manager had repeatedly told the corporate office about the issue. There was a warning sign about the puddle however no employee had mopped up the puddle even though the manager knew that there would be a puddle in that spot. The area was not cordoned off. There was just a small warning sign. The restaurant was found to be negligent and responsible for the medical expenses as well as damages for pain and suffering and lost income. She was awarded $1.3 million by a jury.

How To Win A Slip And Fall Claim Against Chipotle

In order to win a slip and fall case against Chipotle or another restaurant like it you will need to prove that the restaurant was negligent and caused you to slip and fall because of they didn’t follow basic safety protocols and didn’t warn customers about potential hazards. In order to prove your case you will need evidence taken from the scene of the slip and fall at the time of the accident. Gathering evidence immediately after the accident is important because a judge needs to see what the conditions were in the restaurant at the time of the accident.

The best evidence that you can gather to prove your case is photos or video of the area where the accident occurred. A photo or video of the liquid on the floor, or the unsafe conditions, or the lack of cautionary signs or any other proof that the restaurant was negligent can be what wins a case for damages. Witness statements from other people in the area are valuable evidence also. However, witness statements need to be taken as soon as possible after the accident so that their memories are fresh and people don’t forget what they saw in the restaurant. If you get the names and contact information of the other people in the restaurant a lawyer can help you get witness statements, organize your evidence, and gather up your medical bills and other documentation.

Protect Your Legal Rights

If you were hurt while eating at Chipotle or any other restaurant, you only have a limited amount of time that you can file a claim for personal injury. So, it’s important that you protect your legal rights and talk to a qualified personal injury attorney right away. Don’t wait. Your rights depend on it!

*The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Chipotle Mexican Grill or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.

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