Our office obtained $105,000 for woman who slipped and fell at a restaurant.
A 61 year old woman slipped and fell at a restaurant as the result of debris left on the floor.
The restaurant was an all you can eat buffet which was busy during the holiday season. Typically at these buffet type restaurants, the patron serves herself and the busboy clears the table of the finished dishes. To do this, many times a rolling dish cart is used to stack the used dishes, and sometimes the dish cart is over stacked and there is some leakage of food or drink onto the floor. And that is exactly what happened. A dish cart used to store the used dishes was leaking liquid and food onto the floor. When our client walked past the dish cart, she slipped and fell on the wet floor. After the fall, the insurance carrier denied the claim, stating that the dish cart was not over-stacked and leaking or that the floor wet. Suit was filed against the restaurant.
The general rule is that the owner of the restaurant has a duty to exercise “reasonable care” to see that the premises are safe for their use, namely, walking. This duty includes the responsibility to discover defects and dangerous conditions on the property. This duty also includes the obligation to correct the defect or to give sufficient warning of the defect. Once the restaurant shows that it in fact did exercise “reasonable care” such as timely and repeated monitoring of the floor, the burden of proof then shifts to the patron. To be successful in her claim, the patron must now prove that the restaurant knew or should have known of the dangerous condition, in this case, the wet and slippery floor. Trying to prove that the restaurant knew, or should have known, of the wet and slippery fall can be very difficult, especially when they always deny any knowledge of any spills.
Once you are successful in proving that the restaurant knew or should have known of the wet and slippery floor, the insurance company will almost certainly try to put the blame on you for falling. That is, they will argue that you were not looking where you were going and that the wet floor was “open and obvious.” If you had been looking where you were going, you would have seen the wet floor. Or, they will argue that you in fact did see where you were going and saw the wet floor but choose to ignore the risk. Since you saw the wet floor prior to your fall, it is your fault. Either way, the insurance company will try to blame you for your injury.
If you slip and fall while walking on a wet floor at a restaurant, there are certain things you should do. First, get the names and addresses of all witnesses to the incident. The property owner or its employees cannot be counted on to be your witness. Second, give notice of the incident and your injury to the restaurant before you leave the grounds. Make sure a written report of the incident is made. It is crucial that the written report identifies exactly what your injury. Obtain a copy of that report. Third, you will need to seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries from the incident. With the help of your doctor you should identify all affected areas of your body, regardless of how minor they may seem at the time. Many injuries and side effects don’t manifest themselves fully until days or weeks later and they may be more debilitating than you first assumed. Fourth, get a camera and take pictures of the scene, focusing on what caused your injury. This of course may not be possible in every instance. Finally, call an attorney immediately.
If you need help, call LAW OFFICES OF CHARLES J. GALE, PC. We have the capabilities and know-how to prosecute your claim. Don’t hesitate to call us today. There is no fee unless and until we successfully reach a settlement and there is a recovery. Our consultations are also free and are only a short phone call away. Let us help you; all you have to do is dial (312) 372-0300 now!