No "Wet Floor" Signs in Restaurant...

by Sarah
(Durham, NC)

My son walked into a fast food restaurant, unaware there was water on the floor. There were no "Wet Floor" signs posted. He slipped off his feet and fell, hitting his head and landing on his side. The manager was called up front and made aware of the fall. He asked our name, address, phone number, etc. for the incident report and told us someone would call us later from the insurance company.

About 15 minutes later someone called my husband, saying he had just looked at the security camera footage and gave my husband a claim number. We took my son to the emergency room where the doctor diagnosed him with hip and elbow contusions and a sprained neck. He was ordered not to return to school for two days, possibly more.

My question is: What do we do to file a claim and get compensation for my son's medical bills and his suffering from the fall? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "No "Wet Floor" Signs in Restaurant...":

Sarah (Durham, NC):

If the restaurant wants to "do the right thing" they will offer to pay your son's medical bills; your out of pocket expenses such as any prescription and over the counter medications he requires; a proportionate amount of money for the gasoline you may use in picking up his prescriptions and driving him to his doctors for follow ups; and even the parking fees at the doctors' offices and the hospital.

If you had to miss work to take your son to the doctor or to be with him during his treatment and recovery, your lost wages should be paid as well.

Finally, the restaurant should add a reasonable amount for your son's pain and suffering. Regrettably, your pain and suffering and emotional distress is not recoverable.

Add up your son's medical bills. Multiply that amount by 3x or more. That is the amount you should ask the restaurant to settle for. The multiple of three is made to "absorb" the out of pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. So if your son's medical bills equal $1,000 dollars, a fair settlement should be $3,000 dollars.

Whether your own medical insurance paid for your son's medical bills is irrelevant. The courts don't penalize people who are responsible enough to carry medical insurance.

If the restaurant refuses to pay that amount or an amount close to that, you may have to consider legal action. If so, speak with several personal injury attorneys. Most will not charge any fee for an initial office consultation.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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