If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant or dined in one during a rush, you know how chaotic they can be. Servers buzz back and forth from the kitchen to the dining room, the phone is ringing off the hook while the hostess seats customers, and the frenetic energy of the chefs in the kitchen is practically tangible. As you can imagine, this is the worst time for a slip and fall accident. Unfortunately, it’s also the most common time.
Restaurant Slip and Fall Accidents Are Common
Slip and fall accidents routinely occur in restaurants. In fact, servers are usually required to wear anti-slip shoes for protection against falls from food spills and greasy kitchen floors. Even though most kitchens and bar floors are lined with rubber mats, the bustle of a busy kitchen means accidents still happen quite frequently. More than 3 million restaurant employees are hurt in slip and fall accidents each year in addition to the estimated 1 million guests that experience one of these incidents.
While many workplace falls in other industries generally include a fall from height, 70% of restaurant falls occur on flat surfaces. Thus, a slip and fall accident in a restaurant can happen to anyone. Injuries after such an experience range from mild to severe, but many lead to some medical bills and a day or two of lost work. In this industry in particular, even a mildly sprained ankle can lead to some missed shifts.
Determining Fault in a Slip and Fall Accident
When is the building owner responsible? After all, restaurants pose specific hazards, and most employees understand the risks inherent to the job. Even guests understand the risks when dining out, whether it’s slippery floors, burns from a hot dish, or food poisoning. Restaurant owners know these hazards and are required to carry liability insurance. Just when it is a property owner’s fault, and not just a true accident, can be less clear, but in some cases, the negligence is obvious.
Examples of Negligence
All property owners must maintain certain safety protocols. They have a duty to keep their properties safe for guests and employees. Any failure to follow this protocol constitutes negligence. In the restaurant industry, this could manifest in a number of ways:
- The owner doesn’t require employees to wear non-slip shoes.
- The bar mats weren’t in place or the owner doesn’t require them.
- No one properly cleaned the grease trap, which led to a spill.
- No one cleaned a spilled beverage in a timely fashion or made guests aware of the issue.
- There was inadequate lighting in an area presenting multiple safety hazards.
These are just a few examples of how a restaurant owner may be negligent. Of course, thousands of situations qualify. Workplace safety organizations, like OSHA, require different industries use appropriate safety precautions. Any business’s failure to do so results in an OSHA citation and a potential liability claim if someone is hurt. Unfortunately, slip and fall accidents are exceptionally common. They are the number one cause of workers’ comp claims.
Contact a Competent Slip and Fall Attorney in Texas
The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert is experienced in a broad spectrum of personal injury law specializations, including slip and fall cases. Whether you’re a food industry employee who had an accident or were dining out and fell, we will fight to get the compensation you need to pay medical bills and other expenses, pain and suffering, as well as make up for time lost from work. We offer a free consultation and there is no fee or expense unless you recover. Contact us today to discuss your case.
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