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Returning to Restaurants and Premises Liability

After a year of nothing but cooking at home and takeout, many people are anxious to get back to indoor dining at a proper restaurant. Restrictions are lifting to allow for indoor dining in many places, which is good for places like Philadelphia where dining al fresco is not that appealing in February. 

For diners who have gotten their vaccinations, they may not be worried about catching COVID-19 while dining out. However, there are still risks of other illnesses or injuries whenever you eat out at any restaurant. Injuries to diners in restaurants are often caused by negligence or carelessness of the owner. 

Restaurant Injuries and Accidents

Most of us do not think of a restaurant as a dangerous place. We may be able to go our whole lives without ever getting injured in a cafe, diner, or fast food restaurant. However, like other premises where the public is invited, there may be hazards the customer does not know about. Restaurant accidents and injuries can include: 

  • Slip and fall injury
  • Food poisoning
  • Scalding with hot liquid
  • Burn injury
  • Assault caused by lack of security
  • Stair injury from lack of proper lighting

Premises Liability in Restaurants

Premises liability is the legal doctrine where the property owner may be liable for injuries to guests and visitors. The homeowner or property owner is the person in the best position to find out about hazardous conditions and fix them or warn visitors about the possible dangers. The owner may be liable for injuries caused by failure to warn or failure to fix dangerous conditions. 

For example, if a fast-food restaurant has a leak in the bathroom that causes water to pool on the floor, the owner should put up a “wet floor” warning sign until the leak can be cleaned up and repaired. If a patron walks into the bathroom and slips on the wet floor, suffering a back injury, the owner may be responsible for damages. 

Injuries for Restaurant Workers

The most common victims of restaurant injuries are workers. Chefs, wait staff, and cashiers can suffer serious injuries on the job, including repetitive stress injuries or long-term exposure to hazardous environments. 

When an employee is injured at work, instead of filing a personal injury lawsuit, the employee generally has to file a workers’ compensation claim. A workers’ comp claim allows the injured employee to get their medical bills covered and get a portion of their wages until they can return to work. Unfortunately, not all employers are interested in protecting the health and safety of their employees. Employers may try and wrongly deny the workers’ comp claim to force the employee back to work.

Not all workplace injuries are covered by workers’ comp. In some cases, an injured worker may still be able to file a personal injury claim. Personal injury lawsuits may be available for injured independent contractors, when an injury was caused by intentional action, or when someone is injured because of the negligence of someone other than the employer or another employee.

Help After a Restaurant Injury

If you were injured in a restaurant, you can contact an experienced attorney to help you file a claim. Contact Gilman & Bedigian today for a free phone consultation to discuss your injury case, or if you have any other questions.

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