Visitor Question

Slip and fall on a restaurant’s handicap access ramp…

Submitted By: Inez (Victorville CA)

My mom and dad are elderly, in their eighties and are handicapped. They were eating at a restaurant and when they were leaving my dad fell down on the handicap access ramp. My mom was in front of him so she didn’t see him fall or what may have caused him to fall. I asked my dad what made him fall and he said he didn’t know.

My dad went to the hospital, they did x-rays and found that he had fractured his right knee and chipped the left knee. He has been in the convalescent home trying to recover because we could not take care of him at home.

So does the restaurant have any liability in regards to this matter?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Inez,

Property owners have liability, however there must be a dangerous condition in order for this liability to kick-in. Unfortunately, your mother did not see what happened, your dad cannot say what made him fall, and you have not indicated that there were any witnesses.

This will make the case a bit difficult because in a negligence cause of action, you must be able to show that a duty was breached. For property owners, they have a duty to regularly inspect the property and warn of any hazardous or dangerous conditions.

If your father slipped on his own or due to his disability, but not as a result of any dangerous condition that the restaurant owner either caused or failed to warn of, there is no liability on their part.

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

Best of luck,

Published: December 10, 2010

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