Help! I Slipped and Fell in Panera!*

Panera Bread is like many popular eateries with healthier choices and a great variety to choose from. Yet, if you go to a restaurant and end up getting injured, what would you do? How would you handle the unexpected medical bills? An unexpected injury can turn your life upside down.

What Happens If You’re Hurt While Dining?

Although it would ultimately depend on the facts surrounding your claim, when customers are injured during their visit inside of any restaurant, their injuries usually fall under a broad area of law known as personal injury. Personal injury is part of our civil laws and was created to help people get compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and many other damages.

What Is a Personal Injury Claim?

A personal injury claim is based on the concept of negligence. Negligence means that someone was careless and caused another to be injured. The idea behind personal injury claims and law is to give the injured person proper compensation for their injuries.

Personal injury claims have four elements. If you were hurt while eating at a restaurant and you believe that your claim meets the following four elements, speak with a personal injury attorney right away to have your claim evaluated.

  • There is a duty owed to customers by restaurant staff and management. If you order soup, the restaurant is supposed to keep the soup at least 140 degrees. This helps eliminate bacterial growth. To put this into perspective, must home owners keep their hot water tanks set no higher than 120 degrees to minimize the risk of scalding by anyone in the home.
  • The duty must go unfulfilled. If restaurant employees knew that the containers used to warm the soup always heated the soup far above 140 degrees and store management did not have it repaired to heat soup only to a safe temperature, this may be seen as not fulfilling the duty that is owed to customers to serve soup at a safe temperature.
  • Someone must receive an actual injury from not fulfilling the duty. If a diner gets their cup or bowl of soup and they can tell by touching it that it’s too hot to eat and so they wait for it to cool, there’s no actual injury. An actual injury is something physical, emotional, or financial that happens because of the breach of duty. Without this element, there’s no claim for personal injury. Now, if a diner were to carry the hot soup and it somehow spilled onto the patron and caused a severe burn, that could be seen as an actual injury caused by the faulty soup warmer.
  • There must be causation. Causation means that the injury was caused directly by the negligence of the other party. It is often known as the "but-for" test. But for the faulty soup warmer not being fixed and thus heating the soup to 180 degrees, the customer who accidentally spilled the soup would not have experienced third degree burns from the spill. The spill in this example isn’t necessarily the issue. It is the temperature of the soup. When beverages are heated past a certain point, it is likely that they may cause severe burns.

Get Legal Help with your Personal Injury Claim

If you were hurt while eating at Panera Bread, or any other restaurant, and you believe the company or its employees were to blame, you should get legal help. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you protect your legal rights. It’s important that you don’t wait.

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