If you’ve been injured in a restaurant, the best way to find out if you have a case is to contact an experienced Orange County restaurant injury lawyer. The Crockett Law Group has the most reputable premises liability attorneys that have successfully collected money for people injured at restaurants. Call (800) 900-9393 to arrange for a free consultation.
There’s something so special about being served a meal without having to purchase the ingredients and cook it yourself. It gives people a chance to relax and enjoy the company of family and friends. That’s why restaurants are one of the largest sectors of the economy in the United States. Whether it’s a fast service take-out establishment or a high-end gourmet dining experience, restaurants have a duty to make a reasonable effort to ensure that their establishment is safe. When they breach this duty, they are liable for the injury caused by their action or inaction.
What Standard of Care Is Required For Restaurant Owners?
A a minimum, restaurants must ensure the following:
- Entrances and exits, including all fire exits, are accessible and in working order;
- Floors are free from defects such as cracked, loose tiles, uneven carpet, and slippery surfaces;
- Furnishing such as chairs and tables are in good working order and able to support a reasonable amount of weight;
- The food served must be properly stored and inspected;
- Food served to patrons that advise of allergies must not contain those allergens;
- Lighting is sufficient so that patrons can observe hazards and
- Patrons are properly warned of hazards that cannot be immediately repaired.
These are just examples of duties and responsibilities of restaurant owners, not a comprehensive list. If you’ve been injured at a restaurant, it’s worthwhile to contact an Orange County restaurant injury lawyer for advice. Call The Crockett Group at (800) 900-9393 for a free consultation.
When Is A Restaurant Not Responsible?
The restaurant is not required to guarantee the safety of patrons, only to make the premises reasonably safe. The restaurant is required to do reasonable inspections, not to constantly survey every inch of their establishment. For example, if a patron spills water on the floor, the restaurant is expected to mop it up promptly. They would not be responsible for the injuries caused by somebody that slipped on the water right after it spilled before they had a reasonable opportunity to mop it up.
The restaurant would probably not be responsible for a fall that occurred after they put up a “wet floor” sign and warned patrons of the danger. These cases are complicated, so it’s important to speak to an experienced Orange County restaurant injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident or incident at a restaurant to discuss your possible claim. Call The Crockett Group for a free consultation.
Slip and Fall Accidents at Restaurants
The most common claims against restaurants are injuries such as sprains, strains, fractures, herniations, disc bulges, torn ligaments of an extremity, back and neck injuries from falls. If you slip and fall at a restaurant, it’s important to immediately report the incident to the restaurant manager. Take photos and videos of the dangerous condition that caused your fall, and if your injuries are serious, request that an ambulance is called to take you to the nearest emergency room.
Be sure to keep your receipt as further proof that you were served, and do not agree to any settlement until you know the extent of your injuries. For example, don’t sign a release agreeing that you absolve the restaurant of all claims in exchange for “dinner on the house.”
If it turns out that you have a fractured ankle, your out-of-pocket medical expenses and lost time from work would cost much more than the meal. After you’ve obtained medical treatment, call an experienced Orange County restaurant lawyer to find out if you have a valid case. Call The Crockett Law Group at (800) 900-9393 for a free consultation.
Restaurant Responsibility For Scalding Liquids
Anybody of a certain age remembers the Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants case that focused the country’s attention on a restaurant’s liability for serving liquids hot enough to cause severe burns. That case was successful due to the fact that McDonald’s had been serving their coffee twenty to thirty degrees hotter than recommended, for over ten years, and had not changed their policy even after 700 people had filed claims for burns.
The National Coffee Association of the U.S.A recommends serving coffee at 180 to 185 degrees, but, to be on the safe side, Starbucks serves its hot beverages at temperatures between 150 and 170 degrees. Despite this awareness, improperly trained employees sometimes spill hot liquids such as coffee, tea, or gravy on patrons causing severe third-degree or second-degree burns. A restaurant is also liable for self-serve beverage or soup that is available to customers at a temperature high enough to cause burns.
If you’ve sustained a serious burn at a restaurant, it’s important to get high-quality legal advice. Contact us today to arrange for a free consultation.
Restaurant Responsibility for Allergic Reactions
According to the National Library of Medicine, over six million Americans are allergic to shellfish, yet shrimp is a common item on restaurant menus. Can restaurants be sued every time somebody has a severe allergic reaction to shellfish eaten at their restaurant and is hospitalized, or dies? The answer is no.
Restaurants are only responsible for injuries from allergic reactions when a patron advises them of the allergy and they fail to make sure that the allergen is not present in the food that person is served. For example, if a person informs a restaurant that they are allergic to eggs, the restaurant must make sure that that patron is served something “egg-free” and that the food that’s served does not make contact with eggs.
If the restaurant is not sure whether or not an item contains eggs, they must inform the patron that they cannot guarantee that it’s “egg-free.” A restaurant is responsible for injuries caused by allergies once they are informed about the allergy. Call The Crockett Law Group to discuss whether a restaurant was liable for your allergic reaction.
Restaurant Responsibility for Food Poisoning and Choking
Restaurants are responsible for serving tainted food that makes people sick, but these cases are difficult to prove. If several people that ate the same food get sick, that supports the fact that it was tainted, as the sickness is less likely to be caused by something else. It’s not dispositive because people eating together may all come down with a stomach virus, unrelated to the food from the restaurant.
Lab tests are the only way to ascertain what caused a sickness, so if you suspect food poisoning, it’s important to go to the hospital for testing and keep any of the suspect food in your freezer as evidence. Restaurants are not responsible for patrons that choke on hazards that are expected for the food they order. For example, a patron would not have a successful claim for choking on a bone in fish that was ordered: “whole and unboned.”
People are surprised to learn that even when fish, chicken, or meat is sold as “boneless” or “fileted,” they should expect that there could still be bones. On the other hand, nobody is expecting a button or a marble in their soup and the restaurant would likely be held liable for such hazards.