As its name suggests, a slip and fall accident occurs when someone is injured after slipping and losing their footing. These accidents can happen anywhere, including at home or while out in public. Many slip and fall accidents occur in restaurants, and it’s not hard to see why. Restaurants get more foot traffic than many other public places, and the walkways are narrower since they are typically surrounded by tables and chairs. Restaurants are also more likely to have greasy or slippery floors, which can cause guests to slip and injure themselves.
Because it is common for slip and falls to occur in restaurants, it’s important for you to know what to do if you are ever involved in one of these accidents while dining out. Follow these steps:
Seek Medical Attention
The first thing on your mind after a slip and fall accident should be your well being. If you are seriously injured, it’s important to remain where you are and call for emergency medical assistance. Do not attempt to stand up or move until help has arrived. If someone tries to help you up, politely tell them that you would rather wait until the professionals have arrived before attempting to move.
If you are not seriously injured, it’s still important to seek medical attention. Visit a doctor or emergency room immediately after leaving the scene of the accident–even if you do not believe you are badly hurt. Why? Symptoms of an injury may not appear for hours or days following an accident. If you wait until symptoms appear, it may be harder to treat your injuries. For this reason, it’s best to have a doctor examine you immediately following the accident so they can identify and treat injuries right away.
Report the Slip and Fall Accident
Before leaving the scene of the accident, find someone who is in charge of the restaurant so you can tell them what happened. But, it’s important to watch what you say when speaking to the manager or owner of the restaurant. Do not go into details about your condition or the amount of pain you are experiencing as a result of the fall. You should also avoid discussing anything that you were doing that could have contributed to the slip and fall. For example, if you were distracted by your phone when you slipped, leave this detail out when talking about the accident with the manager or owner.
Make sure to ask them to put the report in writing so you can have a copy. Hold onto this copy so you have proof that the accident happened and that the restaurant was immediately made aware of it.
Document Evidence From the Scene of the Accident
Return to where the fall occurred and document as much evidence as possible before leaving. Take photographs of the exact location so you can prove that the floors were wet or that there was an obstacle in your path that caused your fall. It’s best to take photographs up close and from afar so you can capture as much of the location as possible.
You will also need to take pictures of any visible injuries such as cuts or bruises. It’s helpful to also take pictures of the clothing you were wearing at the time of the accident–especially your shoes. The defendant may argue that you fell as a result of your footwear or loose clothing, but these pictures can prove them wrong.
Look around the scene of the accident to see if there are any security cameras pointed in your direction. If you see any cameras, take pictures of them in case the restaurant owner destroys them and denies that they were ever there. You should also note the exact location of the cameras so you can request the footage.
Talk to Witnesses
There are usually plenty of people around when someone falls in a restaurant. If anyone saw you fall, it’s important to ask for their contact information before leaving the restaurant. Jot down their full names and phone numbers and ask them what they saw. Do not discuss your condition or the events leading up to the accident with these witnesses–keep the conversation short and sweet. Be sure to thank them for their help and let them know that an attorney may get in touch with them in the near future.
Seek Legal Representation
Contact an attorney as soon as possible after leaving the scene of the accident. Be sure to find a personal injury attorney that has experience representing slip and fall victims. Slip and fall cases are complex, so you will need an attorney who has a history of winning compensation for their clients in these difficult cases.
Make sure your attorney has copies of all of the evidence you have gathered so far, including photos, witness statements, accident reports, and medical records. Then, explain what happened to your attorney in as much detail as possible. An attorney will need to know all of the facts in order to do their job.
Your attorney will then launch an investigation into the accident to determine who is liable. After liability is determined, your attorney can begin negotiating for compensation with the at-fault party’s insurance company. If the insurance company is unwilling to make a fair offer, your attorney has the option of filing a lawsuit and taking your case to court.
Have you been injured in a slip and fall accident inside a restaurant? If so, contact Trial Lawyers for Justice today to schedule a consultation regarding your case. You are entitled to compensation for your injuries, but recovering this compensation is never easy. Let our experienced personal injury attorneys go head-to-head with the at-fault party’s insurance company and fight tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve.