Slip and fall accidents can happen practically anywhere, on both private and public property, often resulting in a premises liability claim. Many of these injured person accidents occur in restaurants, mainly because these spaces are typically crowded with people and tables. Guests are also at a higher risk of slipping and falling on a wet floor since servers and patrons often spill their drinks on restaurant floors.
It’s easy to see why these accidents are so common in food establishments, but it’s not as easy to figure out what to do if you are one of the countless victims of a restaurant slip and fall accident. Follow these steps to protect yourself and your rights to compensation in a fall claim.
Seek Medical Attention
Some people suffer serious, life-threatening injuries such as spinal cord injury, head injury, or brain injury in slip and fall accidents. If you are seriously hurt, it’s important to stay put and ask someone else to call 9-1-1. It is possible you’ve injured your spinal cord, so you should not try to stand up or move until help has arrived.
If your injuries are not serious enough to warrant emergency medical assistance, you should still see a doctor immediately after leaving the restaurant. It’s best to have medical records showing that you went to a doctor on the date of the accident shortly after it occurred. These medical records also play an important role in proving the severity of your injuries. If you do not seek medical attention right after a slip and fall, the restaurant may argue that your injuries must not have been that serious.
Talk to the Person in Charge
It’s important to make sure that someone who is in charge at the restaurant, or the property owner, knows that the accident happened. It’s not a good idea to rely on someone else to inform the manager or owner— instead, report the accident yourself prior to leaving the restaurant.
Ask to speak to the manager or owner at once following your fall, and request to fill out an accident report. In your report, you should provide a basic overview of what happened, including where you fell, what you may have slipped on, and any other contributing factors to the incident. Do not discuss your injuries in detail with the person in charge. You should never make statements such as “I think I’m fine, but…” or “I’m sure I’ll be ok.” You should also avoid talking about what you were doing at the time of your fall. For example, if you were watching one of the TVs at the bar as you walked across the restaurant, keep this to yourself for now.
You will need a copy of the fall accident case report so you have proof that it happened and that the people in charge were immediately notified of the incident.
Document Evidence of the Accident
Try to document evidence at the scene of the slip and fall accident before you leave. Use your cell phone to take pictures of where the accident occurred. Make sure you capture uneven flooring, spills, grease stains, or anything else that could have caused the accident.
Ask someone else to take pictures of you immediately after the accident so you can document what you were wearing at the time of your slip and fall. Why? The restaurant may argue that you fell because you were wearing the wrong types of shoes or clothing, such as a pair of shoes with unstable heels or long pants or a long dress that caused a tripping hazard. Photos can help prove that the accident had nothing to do with what you were wearing, so the defense will not be able to use this strategy to challenge your personal injury claim.
Following your slip and fall, look around the restaurant for security cameras that could have been filming when you fell. If you see any cameras pointed in your direction, take photos of them in case the restaurant owner attempts to remove them before you obtain the footage. Take a mental note of exactly where the cameras are within the restaurant.
Gather Contact Information from Witnesses
Restaurants are usually packed with bartenders, servers, bussers, managers, and of course guests. Because there are so many people inside restaurants, it’s very likely that at least one person saw you slip and injure yourself. Ask the people standing nearby if they saw what happened. If anyone witnessed your fall, it’s important to ask for their names and phone numbers so you can get in touch with them later.
These witnesses may have seen something that can be used as evidence of the restaurant’s negligence. You don’t need to get into the details of what they saw just yet while you’re still in shock, but you should jot down their information so you can talk to them later.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney & Recover Fair Compensation
Winning compensation in a slip and fall case is not easy. The plaintiff is responsible for proving that the restaurant’s negligence directly led to their injuries. However, the restaurant will most likely hire a team consisting of high-powered attorneys that will try to place the blame of the fall injury entirely on the accident victim’s shoulders. As a fall victim, you will need an experienced personal injury attorney who is not afraid of going head-to-head with the restaurant’s legal team.
Get in touch with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident. Make sure your attorney has copies of your medical records, medical bills, injury journals, and evidence from the scene of the accident. Then, let your attorney handle the rest while you focus solely on recovering both economic damages (such as medical expenses and lost wages) and noneconomic damages (such as pain and suffering) from your injuries.
Have you been injured in a slip and fall accident? If so, contact Carpenter & Zuckerman as soon as possible to discuss your case. Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys will be by your side from the moment you retain our services until your case has been resolved.
Carpenter & Zuckerman has been representing injury victims for more than 25 years, and we will fight tirelessly to secure the fair compensation to which you are entitled for the damages you suffered. When you hire our law firm, you pay no fees unless we win your case! Call today for a free consultation.
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