Restaurant Slip and Fall Accident
Our Florida accident law firm has been suing restaurants and fast food establishments for more than 20 years. Sadly, thousands of customers fall and get hurt each year at restaurants, fast food joints and bars across Florida. The combination of spilled food and drinks and dim lighting is literally a recipe for disaster. If you get hurt after falling at a restaurant or bar I recommend the following:
- First always seek immediate medical care. Never delay seeking immediate medical care. No claim or law suit is worth jeopardizing your health. Besides, jurors are suspicious, often justifiably so, that many slip and falls in Florida restaurants are simply staged money grabs.
- Identify witnesses. After receiving the appropriate care, do not delay in obtaining the names and contact information of any witnesses, including restaurant employees who may have witnessed your fall and subsequent injuries. Often our clients wrongfully believe that if we can prove they fell at the restaurant, they automatically have a valuable personal injury case. Actually, proving what caused the fall is more legally significant than most can appreciate. Florida law does not automatically recognize the right to hold a restaurant responsible for your injuries simply because a fall occurs on their premises. Rather, one has to prove that the business owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition that caused the fall or created the condition.
- Photograph and videotape the scene.Use the camera and video function on your cellphone to take photos of the scene. Focus on the actual condition of the floor. Take many pictures from different angles and immediately upload them on to a protected cloud site like Facebook or email them to a friend in case you phone is lost or stolen.We always request a store’s surveillance videos whenever a client is injured. If the store inadvertently or intentionally disposes of the recording without having viewed or preserved it, we can make a claim against them for the destruction of evidence. If you take photos or videos of the scene and fail to properly protect the files, the victim can also be accused of destruction of evidence. Therefore, it is very important that you take great care in preserving the photographs you take.
- Save your shoes. When we sue a Florida business for a slip and fall accident, they often want to inspect our client’s shoes to see if they were defective or worn out. Accordingly, we recommend that after a fall, you do not continue to use the shoes you were wearing on the date of the fall and preserve them in a sealed container that can be shown to your lawyer if requested.
- Don’t be shy, report the fall to management. Many people are embarrassed when they fall, especially in a public place. People are reluctant to report the fall, and this often happens when the injuries do not seem to be serious. However, sometimes days later, pains suddenly appear or continually get worse. We have had cases where clients have ended up having surgery for injuries that appeared minor at the onset, but then escalated once they got home and literally could not get out of bed. That being said , you must always report the fall!Tell the business where and what happened. Many stores, and especially big box retailers like Wal-Mart, Costco and Target, train their employees to obtain written statements from fall victims. Be very careful to not give a recorded statement or sign any claim forms as they can and will be used against you if you decide to sue later.
- Do not give a recorded or written statement. Giving a statement to the restaurant’s manager or claims adjuster right after falling – and in pain – is never a good idea. Simply inform management of the event. Give them your name and contact information and obtain their information too. But under no circumstances should you allow them to record or videotape your explanation without your attorney present. I guarantee you that Denny’s would not allow me to interrogate their store manager about the wet floors, lack of signage or their maintenance protocol without their attorney present.
Our lawyers for restaurant accidents are experienced advocates in holding restaurants accountable for injuring customers. We have successfully handled claims across Florida against McDonald’s, Pollo Tropical, Wendy’s, Burger King, Denny’s, Boston Market, KFC and Starbucks. If you have been hurt by falling in a Florida bar, restaurant or fast food establishment contact us for a free consultation.