A visit to some of Spokane’s best restaurants can be cause for celebration, even before the food arrives. The Lilac City has some beautiful establishments like the Old Spaghetti Factory and Clinkerdagger in the Flour Mill.
If you invite family and friends out for a meal you want to focus on conversation and laughs, not safety. But restaurants are not only responsible for serving up good food, but they’re also supposed to be looking out for your safety.
Restaurants and Obstacles to your Safety
Fast Food, as the name implies, can be a madhouse of hungry people and speedy servers. Even the finer eateries can get busy. Employees work hard to keep customers fed and happy, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t responsible when their dining rooms become cluttered and walking paths are left obstructed.
Here are a few dangers that can quickly send you to the floor:
- Spills – The most common threat. Drinks spill and salad dressing drips. Customers can leave a slippery mess, but the restaurant staff and owner are still responsible for timely cleanups.
- Objects on the floor – Customers and especially children can drop a fork or just about anything else to turn up in your path.
- Uneven Flooring – Carpet can develop snags or fold over to trip up even the most stable person. Cracked Tile or gaps can also cause a fall.
- Stairs – Some restaurants have steps leading up or down to the dining room. These can be poorly lit, be missing handrails and you might not even know a step is there until you’re already falling.
- Uncleared Entraceways – Restaurants want to get you in the door, but sometimes bad weather makes approaching your favorite eatery treacherous. Wet doormats can also send you stumbling when you enter.
What to Do if You Are Injured at a Restaurant
If possible, take these steps after being injured:
- Report the incident.
- Immediately report the accident to the manager and owner or the nearest person of authority, and complete an accident report if one is available.
- Take pictures.
- Take a picture of where the slip and fall accident happened because the factors that caused your accident can easily be cleaned up or repaired, erasing the evidence.
- Seek medical attention.
- Get checked out by a medical professional right away. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may want to schedule an appointment with your doctor or visit an emergency room. If injuries are severe, you may need to be transported by ambulance to a trauma center.
Comparative Negligence in Washington State
You may be embarrassed by your fall and you may even feel you were partly to blame. But did you know, you can be partially at fault for your fall and still receive compensation? The State of Washington allows for comparative negligence. This means you take a percentage of the blame for your injuries and the restaurant owner and/or parent company is responsible for personal damages equal to their percentage of fault.
Making a Restaurant Injury Claim
Under Washington law, the owner of any property has a duty to keep the area that is open to the public reasonably free from dangerous hazards. If the owner fails and someone gets injured, then a claim can be made. The law allows for two primary ways to prove negligence.
The victim needs to show that the hazard was:
- Created by the owner, or
- The owner knew of the hazard and didn’t fix it in a reasonably timely manner.
In most cases, the owner is likely going to say that they didn’t create the problem, or that they were fixing the problem in a reasonable amount of time. The majority of claims for restaurant injures are routinely denied by the insurance company who will wait until they know you can put together a proper claim before they take you seriously.
At Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S., we know how to successfully make a restaurant injury claim, and we know how to counter the owner’s defenses and to deal with the insurance companies.
Contact a Spokane Premises Liability Lawyer
It may be your favorite restaurant but if you’re injured because of negligence on the part of any business you’ll need to consider filing a premises liability case. The injury you suffered may not be your fault and the medical bills and even lost wages from missed work shouldn’t be left for you to face alone.
Established in Spokane in 1948, Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S. is committed to providing our clients with the absolute highest quality legal representation. If our Premises Liability Lawyers represent you for your accident case, you have our assurance that we will use our absolute best efforts to win your case. Contact us after any accident resulting in a serious injury for a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation. We will only offer you advice which is in your best interest.