Slipped on food at a BBQ restaurant...

by Nitara
(Atlanta, GA)

I slipped and fell in a BBQ restaurant, injuring my knees, wrist, and back. There was a piece of food on the floor which caused me to slip. The manager didn't know how to do an incident report on site, nor what the proper procedure was for this type of occurrence and referred me to the owner.

I called the owner immediately and gave the onsite manager my statement and was told that I would receive the incident report via fax or email. I have not received the incident report. I faxed and emailed him my "statement of incident" later that same night. I am going to the doctor tomorrow.

I am worried about long term effects of the fall. It was definitely not my fault. It looked like a piece of a sandwich or coleslaw on the floor. Can I file a claim? I wasn't in the frame of mind to get witness statements in writing, although about 5 people saw me fall and 2 asked me if I was OK. What can I do?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Slipped on food at a BBQ restaurant...":

Nitara (Atlanta, GA):

Before you consider pursuing the barbecue restaurant for a slip and fall injury, you must accomplish two things...

First, you must have proof of injury. This means you must have a medical report or narrative from a licensed physician stating you were injured, and exactly what your injuries are. A report from a chiropractor will have much less force than an actual medical report. Without proof of injury, you have no viable claim.

Second, you must be able to prove your injuries were caused not only by your fall, but that fall was caused by the restaurant's negligence. Just because a piece of food was on the floor doesn't necessarily make the restaurant liable. Food falls on the floor all the time in restaurants.

Learn more about liability in slip and fall claims here.

While a restaurant owner has a legal "duty of care" to make the restaurant safe for its patrons, the duty is a reasonable one. This means it would be unreasonable for a restaurant owner to have to immediately pick up every piece of food the moment it fell. In a restaurant, especially a large one, that would be virtually impossible. As a result, the courts afford restaurants some leeway.

As long as the restaurant had in place a system for the floors to be monitored and cleaned at regular intervals, it is unlikely the restaurant will be liable for your injuries.

Visit the Georgia Department of Public Health to read more about Georgia restaurant rules and regulations.

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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TYPE OF ACCIDENT
AUTO ACCIDENT
PERSONAL INJURY
WORKERS COMPENSATION
MEDICAL ERROR
YES! I WANT FAIR COMPENSATION