Fast food restaurants are a great place to grab a fast and tasty breakfast, lunch, dinner, or midnight snack!
Yet, dining inside of the facility and getting hurt can do more than ruin your appetite. It can also have major consequences for the rest of your life. When you are hurt when you are a paying customer inside of a fast food restaurant, you could be eligible for damages to compensate you for medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
Personal injury is part of our set of civil laws. Personal injury claims were designed to compensate people who are hurt physically, financially, or emotionally by the negligence of another person or company. Personal injury can cover a lot of different claims because the core of the claims all rely on the concept of negligence.
Slip and Falls at a Restaurant
Slip and fall cases are one of the most common personal injury claims against fast food establishments. If you slipped and fell, your incident must fulfill the following four elements:
- the restaurant you're in must owe a duty to you as a customer. Duty is the first element. It means that someone should or shouldn’t do something. In the context of a slip and fall scenario, the employees have a duty to keep their floors as safe and dry as they can to protect their customers.
- The restaurant must breach their duty. If, for instance, an employee knew of a broken ice machine that was spilling ice and water onto the floor, they have a duty to do something to protect their customers, such as setting up a sign notifying customers of the risk and possibly keeping the area as dry as possible. If they did not alert customers to the danger in some way, this could be a breach of their duty.
- The breach of duty must cause an actual injury. The floor simply just can’t be wet. A customer would actually have to slip, fall, and be injured in some way for the breach to cause an actual injury. They may slip, fall, and break their foot. They may slip, fall, and hit their head on the counter. There are numerous damages you can claim when filing a personal injury claim.
Proving Negligence In A Slip And Fall
The key to successfully filing a claim for damages in a personal injury case is proving negligence. You must have evidence that shows that the establishment is responsible for the accident because they failed to follow established safety protocols or protect customers from a hazardous situation. In order to prove that they are at fault you will need as much evidence as possible. There are several types of evidence that you can use to prove your claim:
If you are not so hurt that you require emergency medical attention you should use your smartphone to take photos and videos of the area right after the accident so that you can capture the scene exactly as it was when you fell. Make sure that you take photos and videos from several angles that show the liquid on the floor, the lack of any signs warning customers that there is a slippery floor, and anything else that can help your case.
Witness statements are also important evidence. Other people that were nearby when you fell can corroborate your story and offer evidence of the hazards that were present. If possible get the witnesses to write down their statements right away. Make sure that you get their names and contact information. You can also record video of them telling what they saw on your phone, just make sure that they give their names and contact info on the video. Being able to contact them again later on is very important.
Gather Evidence Fast
It’s extremely important to capture evidence as quickly as possible because the establishment will move quickly to eliminate the hazardous conditions and the witnesses may leave without giving a statement. That’s why unless you are bleeding or seriously hurt and need emergency care you should gather as much evidence as you can immediately after the accident. If you do have to go to the hospital right away ask a witness to gather evidence for you.
Filing A Claim
It’s also important that you file a claim as quickly as possible. Each state has a different statute of limitation for slip and fall or personal injury cases but in many states the statute is two years. That means that you only have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. That doesn’t mean that your claim will be resolved in two years however, it just means that you must file a claim within two years or else you will be unable to file a claim or recover damages from that accident.
Protect Your Legal Rights
If you were hurt while eating at a restaurant, you could be eligible for a personal injury claim. If so, you only have a limited time by law to file your claim. Protect your legal rights. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to have your claim evaluated.
*The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Jack in the Box, or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.