When you go out to eat at your favorite restaurant, you don’t expect to walk out and get hurt. But sometimes it happens, and it may not be your fault. Restaurants have an obligation to keep their establishment safe—that includes ensuring all safety codes and regulations are met, regular maintenance is done and any known or reported hazards are taken care of as soon as possible.
When going into a restaurant, the lights, floors, steps and chairs around the table may all play a role in the safety of the patrons. Our clients have slipped, tripped and have even fallen on broken chairs at their favorite Long Island and New York restaurants. What are some common accidents? Here are five:
- Slip-sliding away—The most common accident in a restaurant we get is a slip and fall on a spilled liquid, food or other debris on the floor, broken flooring or torn carpet. It goes without saying that a restaurant has to make sure that the floors are clean and that there is nothing that can interfere with the safe walkway for a customer. The issue that causes problems is determining how long the food or liquid was on the floor and was it enough time for the restaurant to have cleaned.
- It’s too dark in here!—Some restaurants take mood lighting to the extreme. When dim lighting, unlit stairwells or poorly lit parking areas cause accidents, the restaurant could be at fault. Poorly lit, uncrowded areas—such as the parking lots or back entrances—can also make patrons vulnerable to assaults.
- Broken chairs, banisters, tables—If a restaurant has a broken chair, banister or table, that could be a danger. If they are, then they have an obligation to make the repair. The hard part in these cases is to prove the restaurant had knowledge that something was broken.
- Can’t hold on–A very common compaint we get is that a restaurant has no handrails or only a partial handrail for stairs going up or down to another level. These are very good cases for an injured party, because handrails are usually mandated by local building codes.
- Sidewalks and parking lots–Restaurants are not just responsible for inside, they need to ensure that their exterior property is equally safe for patrons. All walkways, sidewalks and parking lots that are part of the property must be well maintained, repaired for cracks and breaks, cleared of debris and properly lit.
What should you do if you were injured at a restaurant? To sue a business for an injury, you need to prove one of the following:
- The restaurant knew about the problem but failed to fix it (others have been injured or reported the problem)
- The restaurant caused the problem (a waiter spilled water or a tray of food)
- The restaurant should have known about the problem (torn carpet in the center of the restaurant, a broken stair that witnesses say has been like that for months)
If you were injured at a restaurant, contact us through our website or call 516-217-9097 and we can discuss your specific case. Our experienced lawyers will answer all your questions and let you know your legal options. There is no fee or obligation—in fact you only pay when we get you a settlement or verdict.