Philadelphia Slip and Fall Accidents in Restaurants: Liability of Owners and Staff
When people go out to eat, they expect a safe environment where they can enjoy their meals. Unfortunately, accidents involving a slip and fall in a restaurant sometimes happen, often resulting in physical, financial, and legal implications for patrons and restaurant owners.
Injured parties have the right to seek compensation when a slip and fall in a restaurant occurs. This article will explore slip and fall restaurant accidents, restaurant negligence law in Philadelphia, and the steps injury victims should take to sue a restaurant after an accident. By understanding the legal aspects of restaurant slip and fall claims, injured parties can protect their rights and work toward obtaining the compensation they deserve.
What is a Slip and Fall in a Restaurant?
Slip and falls in restaurants occur when hazardous conditions on restaurant property cause customers to lose their footing and fall. Such hazards include spilled food or beverages, recently mopped or waxed surfaces, torn carpets, cluttered or uneven walkways, and poorly maintained premises.
In the U.S., slip and fall accidents account for over 1 million hospital emergency room visits yearly. Of those, 25,000 slip and fall accidents occur at restaurants across the U.S., leading to injuries ranging from minor bruises and sprains to severe fractures or head trauma.
What Is Restaurant Negligence Law in Philadelphia?
In Philadelphia, restaurant owners have a legal obligation to provide a safe environment for their customers and other visitors. This duty is grounded in premises liability law and holds property owners responsible for exercising reasonable care in maintaining their premises and promptly addressing hazards they know of or should know of. Failure to fulfill this duty may result in financial liability.
When a slip and fall accident happens, the injured party may be entitled to compensation if they can establish the restaurant’s negligence. To establish negligence, a victim must prove the following four elements:
- The restaurant has a duty to ensure its premises are reasonably safe for customers and visitors;
- The restaurant breached this duty, for example, by failing to clean up spills promptly or neglecting to repair hazardous conditions;
- This breach directly caused the slip and fall accident and subsequent injuries; and
- The claimant suffered actual damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If a slip and fall accident in a restaurant caused your injury, a skilled slip and fall attorney who understands Philadelphia’s premises liability laws can review your case and help you establish negligence.
Is Staff Liable for a Restaurant Slip and Fall?
The liability of a staff member can depend on their level of responsibility, as well as their role in creating or addressing hazardous conditions that resulted in the accident. However, each slip and fall case is unique, so ultimately, liability will depend on the accident’s specific facts and circumstances.
Often, both the restaurant and its staff members may be held jointly liable for a slip and fall accident because employers are generally responsible for the actions of their employees.
This means the injured party can seek compensation from the individual staff member or the restaurant. An experienced premises liability attorney can review the circumstances surrounding your slip and fall accident and help you determine which parties to include in a lawsuit.
How to Sue a Restaurant for Negligence
If you plan on suing a Philadelphia restaurant for your slip and fall injury, here are the steps you should take to pursue your claim:
- Report the accident. Notify restaurant management and ensure they detail the accident in their records.
- Document the accident scene. If possible, gather evidence, such as photographs of the hazard that caused the slip and fall. Also, obtain contact information from any witnesses who saw the incident.
- Seek medical attention. Seek medical attention immediately, even if your injuries initially appear minor. A visit to a medical professional can help safeguard your health and ensure your slip and fall accident and resulting injuries are documented.
- Preserve evidence. Preserve any clothing or footwear worn during the accident, as they may serve as evidence to support your claim.
- Consult an attorney. Contact a personal injury attorney experienced in restaurant slip and fall cases. They can assess your claim’s strength and guide you step by step through the legal process.
- Determine liability. Your attorney will investigate the incident, collect evidence, and help you establish the restaurant’s negligence.
- Evaluate damages. Your attorney will assess your injuries and damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, to help you calculate a compensatory figure that reflects a fair settlement.
- Negotiate a settlement. Your attorney will attempt to negotiate with the restaurant’s insurance company to reach a fair settlement.
- Pursue legal action. If the insurance company refuses to offer a reasonable settlement, your attorney can file a lawsuit and represent you in court.
- Go to trial. If your case goes to court, your attorney will present persuasive evidence and arguments that can establish the negligent party’s liability and result in compensation.
Restaurant owners often carry restaurant liability insurance to protect themselves in case of accidents on their premises. This restaurant insurance can cover slip and fall accidents and compensate injured parties for their damages.
However, insurance companies sometimes attempt to minimize payouts or deny claims outright, so working with a competent attorney provides a better chance of settling without going to trial and will generally help to ensure just compensation.
Rosen Justice Injury Lawyers: Skilled Slip and Fall Advocates
If a restaurant’s negligence caused your slip and fall accident, Rosen Justice Injury Lawyers is committed to supporting you every step of the way. Our unwavering mission has always been to provide unyielding, aggressive, yet compassionate representation for victims and their loved ones harmed by someone else’s carelessness or misconduct.
Employing over 75 years of combined experience, we have won millions in settlements and verdicts by standing up for the underdog and those who need us the most, fighting proudly for Philadelphia’s diverse and hardworking communities.
Call 267-656-7736 for a free consultation. We offer our legal services on a contingency basis, which means you won’t pay any fees or expenses upfront. We only get paid if we recover compensation for you.