As a global fast-food powerhouse, McDonald’s has seen its fair share of lawsuits. The most famous of the litigations took place in 1992, when a customer sued the company for making her scalding hot coffee that found its way onto her lap.
Although the coffee incident reminds us of how some lawsuits push the envelope for reasonable litigation, the fact remains McDonald’s faces dozens of legitimate lawsuits each year.
If you were injured at a McDonald’s restaurant, or any fast food restaurant for that matter, you might have a strong enough case to file a personal injury claim against the company. This means you have to learn how to sue McDonald’s.
How to File a Claim Against a Fast-Food Restaurant
Because of the widespread popularity of the fast-food chain, McDonald’s accident claims sit near the top of the list of fast-food chains that experienced the most cases of personal injury incidents. If you sustained injuries at a McDonald’s, or at any other fast food restaurant, you should know how to file a claim that seeks just compensation to recover the financial losses caused by your injuries.
The first step on the to-do list after sustaining injuries at a McDonald’s, or any other fast food restaurant, involves letting a manager know about the personal injury incident. The manager on duty completes an incident report that acts as the foundational document of a personal injury claim.
Gather and Organize Evidence
If you feel healthy enough, take photographs of the accident scene. For example, taking and saving images on a smartphone can provide convincing evidence that the McDonald’s, or any other fast food restaurant, where you sustained injuries failed to honor the duty of care doctrine. The duty of care doctrine refers to the legal responsibility the store has to prevent you from getting hurt while dining at one of its restaurants.
Obtain Witness Information
Witness accounts of what transpired before, during, and after a personal injury incident at a McDonald’s, or any other fast food restaurant, provides your attorney with the legal support that backs up the physical evidence. After collecting evidence, write down the name and contact information of every witness to allow your personal injury attorney to interview each witness as part of the investigation.
Receive Medical Care
Getting the medical attention you deserve helps build a convincing case for monetary damages, as well as presents the documents your insurance company needs to approve a claim. You should receive medical care as quickly as possible after an accident to ensure you receive compensation for every injury.
Finally, contact a personal injury lawyer to represent you when the time comes to file an insurance claim, as well as if you decide to file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.
Potential Slip and Fall Injuries That Can Occur
What kind of hazards might you encounter in a fast food restaurant? First, looking in the kitchen area: If employees do not keep their workstations clean, there could be an incident. From the grease where the French fries are cooked, to the ice cream machine, or even around the soda fountain, areas to are numerous.
Kids love fast foot restaurants, which can mean spilled soda, French fries and more. If a patron informs an employee of the mess, it is important for the employee to clean the area as soon as possible.
During business hours, whoever is working in the lobby should maintain the clean areas there. There may be sweeping that needs to be done, checking trashcans and emptying them when needed, and even wiping down tables.
Employees are expected to do “light mopping” if the floor becomes soiled. After an employee’s shift is over, he or she will be responsible for his or her station. According to McDonald’s employee handbook, employees must:
- Be sure bathrooms are clean and stocked
- Give the working area a good cleaning & pick up
- Be sure to restock any cups, condiments, straws, etc.
If a McDonald’s, or any fast food restaurant does not keep its floors clean and safe for customers, accidents can occur.
How to Sue the At-Fault Party
If you were injured in a McDonald’s restaurant, or any established fast food restaurant, you may be entitled to file a personal injury compensation claim against the company. You will need evidence to prove that the company was negligent in causing your accident.
You are entitled to file a claim which includes the cost of medical treatment, any lost earnings while you are unable to go to work. You can also add to the claim an amount calculated for pain and suffering based on how much suffering you have to live with which has been due to your accident.
Evidence Is Key to Winning a Lawsuit
To be sure you have a high chance of winning a PI claim, the evidence you provide must be clear and not pose any doubt. Often, evidence you are able to access depends on how serious your injury was.
If you have slipped and fallen on spilt food or in an icy parking lot and you ended up in hospital with a traumatic brain injury, the last thing on your mind is collecting evidence to prove who or what caused your injury. Quality, indisputable evidence is high on the agenda when your claim is being considered by the restaurant's insurer.
How Do I Make a Claim Against McDonald’s?
If you suffered an injury at McDonald’s and you believe the company is legally liable for paying you compensation, you have the right to file a personal injury compensation claim against the company.
The first thing to remember is each state has established a statute of limitations for filing a civil lawsuit for a personal injury case. Failing to meet the filing deadline can mean the dismissal of your claim.
Each state also has in place a procedure for filing a personal injury compensation claim. Most states encourage plaintiffs to file their claims online to expedite the legal process.
You must complete the entire application with 100 percent accurate information for your claim to make it to the docket of a civil court. You also need to attach persuasive evidence that demonstrates McDonald’s should be legally liable for causing your injury.
How to Sue a Fast-Food Restaurant and Win
To know how to sue McDonald’s and win, you have to file your claim before the expiration of the statute of limitations. Each state has established a deadline for filing a civil lawsuit and the documents required to process the litigation. Most states have established a statute of limitations that runs between two and four years. If you fail to meet the filing deadline, you can expect the court to dismiss your claim.
You also need to submit persuasive evidence. Many personal injury incidents at McDonald’s involve slip and falls. For any type of personal injury case against McDonald’s, you need to submit the accident report written by the manager on duty, as well as any camera footage that demonstrates what caused your injuries.
One or more acts of negligence, whether the negligence acts were intentional or unintentional, can boost the chances of you receiving just compensation for your injuries.
Photos taken by and uploaded to your Smartphone can help you build a strong personal injury claim. This is especially true for a car accident that unfolded on a McDonald’s property. You shoot images of the damage done to your vehicle, as well as the area where the accident took place.
Another source of evidence concerns your medical bills. For the court to award you monetary damages, you must present copies of your medical records and the receipts showing how much you paid for medical care.
You have the right to seek compensation for diagnostic tests, treatment programs, and physical therapy sessions. Monetary damages also can cover the cost of prescription drugs, assistive devices, and estimated future medical expenses.
How to Sue McDonald’s: Submit Compelling Evidence
Evidence is the key for you to win a civil lawsuit against McDonald’s. The dominant global player in the fast-food niche employs a large team of highly skilled attorneys that fight civil lawsuits. Submitting a claim with weak evidence is a recipe for losing a civil lawsuit.
Evidence comes in many forms, with the most convincing form being the security camera footage shot at the time of the incident that caused your injuries. For example, if you slipped and fell at a McDonald’s, and the incident caused you harm, you want to acquire the video footage shot at the time of the incident to demonstrate legal liability.
Another form of compelling evidence is witness accounts of the personal injury incident. Although witness accounts are not the strongest source of evidence, the accounts might support your version of events.
You also need to submit documentation of your injuries to verify the amount of money you have spent on medical care.
What Does Just Compensation Cover?
The goal of your civil lawsuit is to recover just compensation for the liability imposed on McDonald’s. Compensation covers several expenses, with medical bills representing by far the most substantial expense.
Not only do you want compensation for past medical bills, but you also want to receive financial assistance to cover future healthcare expenses. Just compensation also covers lost wages, property damage, and emotional distress.
Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney
The first step that answers the question, “How do I make a claim against McDonald’s” involves getting in touch with a personal injury lawyer. An attorney can help you gather and organize the evidence you need to submit a convincing personal injury claim. Another benefit of hiring an attorney is to ensure you meet your state’s lawsuit filing deadline.
Schedule a free case evaluation today to initiate legal action against McDonald’s.
All is not lost as there are always eye witnesses available to provide evidence. Most McDonald’s restaurants, like any established fast food restaurant could have surveillance cameras in place so you are in your rights to ask to see if your accident was recorded. This could help your case.
Apart from gathering together evidence to support your PI claim it is also important that you get your physician to write a report describing your injuries and your likely recovery time. This will affect the amount of your PI settlement, assuming it is successful.
A good example when it comes to negligence is if an employee sees spilt food or drink on the floor but doesn’t clear it up and you slip and fall injuring yourself.