Filing a premises liability lawsuit against a business can be very intimidating. But if you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident within a restaurant, you should pursue damages so that the business doesn’t continue to put other patrons’ safety at risk.
Restaurants’ Obligations to Patrons
All restaurants, as well as other properties in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, have a duty to keep patrons reasonably free from harm. While this can be interpreted in some ways, the ‘reasonable person’ standard is often applied to assess whether or not negligence—and a violation of this obligation—has occurred.
The reasonable person standard means that a reasonable person would have acted differently in the same situation. For example, failure to remove snow from a parking lot would most likely be considered unreasonable by the average person, especially after a certain amount of time has occurred.
Based on this standard, a restaurant is obligated to do the following.
- Repair dangerous conditions
- Maintain a safe state of the property
- Notify patrons of any known hazards
When a slip and fall injury occurs in a restaurant, the injured party cannot reclaim damages unless the negligence of the at-fault party is proven. To prove negligence, it will have to be established that the restaurant failed to act reasonably, or maintain a hazard-free property.
Sometimes, negligence can be challenging to prove, especially when the condition of the property that led to the accident was temporary. For example, if a waiter spilled a drink and employees failed to clean it up in a reasonable amount of time, leading to a fall, then the restaurant will likely be held liable.
On the other hand, though, if another customer spilled a drink and it resulted in a fall nearly instantaneously afterward—and cleaning it up in time to prevent the fall may not have been reasonable—the restaurant workers may not be held responsible. It is one of the big three myths about slip and fall claims that all slip and fall accidents justify claims.
In proving negligence, which caused the hazardous condition and well as the timeliness of resolving the dangerous condition is an important consideration.
Statute of Limitations
If negligence can be established, then a claim for damages against the restaurant can be pursued. However, the claim must be filed within two years’ time, as found in Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Section 5524.
Consult with a Slip and Fall Attorney
To help you prove the negligence of the restaurant when suing for slip and fall damages, contact an attorney. For a free legal consultation where we can discuss the details of your claim and give you an idea of your chances of a successful lawsuit, call Cordisco & Saile LLC, LLC today at 215-642-2335.