Have you ever walked into a store or restaurant and witnessed a slip and fall? If you were the one who was injured in a mishap, there could be financial assistance available.
Any food establishment runs the risk of causing a hazardous environment for its customers, whether they serve burgers, fries, or salads. Be sure to be aware of some of the following items that could cause an accident:
- Food, such as vegetables that have slipped from a sub
- Condiments such as mustard or oil, a popular sandwich topping
- Recently mopped floors
- Soda, as most fast food shops have a self-serve soda fountain
Some locations have taller tables and chairs, not just booths. These tall chairs can also become a slip and fall hazard if they stick out in the path of customers at all.
Fast food chains, like many other restaurants, require their employees to clean if needed throughout the day. There is not one designated person that takes care of cleaning during the day; it is a duty of all employees to keep it clean. It is a duty stated in the employee handbook that all employees must stay and clean up, empty trash and mop floors each night after the store closes. If these tasks are not done the store can be found negligent for not providing a safe environment.
There are certain precautions that all stores and restaurants that serve the public must take in order to prevent accidents. If the floor is wet because of a spill or during routine mopping, the store is required to post a Wet Floor sign to let customers know that floor could be slippery because it’s wet. If a spill occurs it needs to be cleaned up immediately and if it’s not then the restaurant is being negligent and putting customers at risk for a fall. Other safety precautions like maintaining a clean doorway and entry, putting out mats in wet or snowy weather, keeping the sidewalk clear of ice and snow, and making sure that the restaurant area is clean, sanitary, and dry are required. If the employees are not practicing good safety protocols then the restaurant is being negligent. If a customer is hurt because of that negligence the restaurant is at fault and must pay medical costs and other expenses for the injured person.
No matter how big or small a fall may be, there could be long-term damages you can incur from a slip and fall accident. Medical bills can pile up, doctors’ visits and so much more can be a result of a slip and fall. In any personal injury case the Four Pillars of Personal Injury are applied to the facts of the case to determine if there is a case and what damages the victim may be entitled to.
The Four Pillars Of Personal Injury
Determining whether or not an accident was caused by negligence and if there is a personal injury case depends on whether or not the facts of the case support the Four Pillars of Personal Injury. Those pillars are:
The establishment must be at least 50% liable for the accident. That means that they failed to take action to protect customers like not putting out a Wet Floor sign, not cleaning up spills right away, not putting out mats or non-slip carpets in bad weather, or in some other way not warning customers of a potentially dangerous situation. If the establishment is 50% liable or more for the accident then a personal injury case can go forward.
Negligence means having proof that the establishment didn’t take required action to protect customer or didn’t follow established safety protocols. In order to meet the standard for negligence there needs to be tangible proof that the establishment didn’t do what they were required to do. Proof can be witness statements describing unsafe conditions, photos of the area that show spilled liquid or slippery conditions, videos of the area, or any other proof that the area was not being properly maintained for safety.
Responsibility means whether or not the party that is liable for the accident can pay for medical costs and other damages. In a case like this where a store or restaurant is involved responsibility is not usually a problem.
In order to be eligible for damages the injured party must be able to prove that there is long term impact from this accident. That means providing things like medical records, doctor or hospital bills, and treatment plans. The person must show that their ability to live normally or work has been impacted by their injuries in order to qualify for damages that cover more than just medical bills.
It’s very important to collect the evidence necessary to prove negligence as soon as possible after the accident. If you don’t need immediate medical help you should use your phone to take photos of the area before the establishment has time to clean it up. Photos and videos are important evidence. Try to take photos and videos from several angles if you can. Also ask the other people in the establishment for their names and contact information so that they can give witness statements. You can even use your phone to record each person giving a witness statement immediately after the accident happened when their memories are still fresh. Just make sure that they say their names and give their contact information on camera.
Calling a personal injury attorney can help with letting you know your rights, what damages you are entitled to and help you in filing the claim.
*The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Subway, or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.