When you visit a restaurant in hopes of enjoying a nice meal, you don’t normally expect your trip to also result in an injury. Unfortunately, not all restaurant experiences are pleasurable—but all restaurants in the state of Florida do have a legal obligation to provide a safe environment free of any dangers for their patrons, from the parking lot to the dining room.
There are a number of ways that you could become injured on a restaurant’s property as a result of negligence, and should that be the case, you should look into your legal options quickly. While your immediate desire might be to seek justice, it can be confusing trying to figure out where to begin. Your first step should be to determine whether or not you have a legitimate case against the restaurant.
If you’ve been injured at a restaurant, your case will fall under premises liability law. Premises liability holds the owner of a property responsible for injuries sustained by a person while on that property. Essentially, property owners have a duty to ensure the safety of all visitors to their property. When that duty is breached and property owners are negligent, people can get hurt.
In a premises liability lawsuit, the injured person must be able to prove the following:
Restaurant owners should have a good understanding of the dangers and risks that might affect customers. Failing to remove a dangerous condition or warn customers away from a certain area is a result of acting negligently. There are many ways that a restaurant owner could be negligent, including failing to fix broken handrails, neglecting to replace poor lighting, not properly cleaning up spills, not fixing or marking broken or uneven sidewalks, and more.
Unfortunately, many restaurants fail to maintain a safe environment, which can result in the injury of a guest.
Here are some of the most common injuries that occur at restaurants:
Choking. Choking while in a restaurant may not always be the restaurant’s fault, but if you have choked on food that was incorrectly prepared or that contained a foreign object, you may have a case.
Puncture wounds. Cuts and puncture wounds can happen if a customer comes in contact with exposed screws, splintered wood, broken glass, or other sharp objects while in a restaurant.
Is a Restaurant Liable for My Injuries?
In the state of Florida, restaurant owners owe a duty of care to provide a safe environment for customers—meaning they must do everything possible, within reason, to ensure their customers are not harmed. This also includes responsibility for events or circumstances that might foreseeably harm customers, as well as responsibility for the negligent actions of restaurant staff.
When a restaurant fails to do everything reasonably possible to protect its customers, an injured customer has a legal right to pursue compensation from the restaurant. Negligence that leads to a customer’s injury or illness renders the restaurant liable for the customer’s damages.
Damages from an injury on a restaurant’s property can include the following:
Proving negligence in a personal injury case can be difficult because several elements must be present. These elements include duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. In regards to an injury sustained on restaurant property, the evidence must show that the cause of injury was foreseeable by the restaurant owner, negligence was involved, that negligence was the direct cause of the injury, and there were significant damages.
Since many of these cases rely on evidence, it critical to gather any related evidence in order to help prove your claim. And because gathering supporting evidence, building a case, and navigating the complex legal system is often difficult, you should contact a knowledgeable attorney to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
If you or a family member has been injured at a restaurant, it’s time to connect with the attorneys at Friedman & Friedman. Our experienced attorneys have won millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements regarding premises liability, including a $4.5 million verdict for a client who was injured at a bar because of a failure to provide adequate security.
Our attorneys will use our experience and expertise in premises liability law to fight for you and ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to. To discuss how we can help with your specific premises liability case, contact us today.