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What Should I Do If I Slip and Fall on Ice Outside a Restaurant?

Most people eat out at least once a week. No one expects to arrive at a restaurant and get injured. However, injuries happen more often than you might imagine. In fact, it is reported that more than three million food service employees and an additional one million guests are injured each year in restaurant slip and falls.

What do you do if you are injured while visiting a restaurant? The establishment is responsible for maintaining and keeping a safe reasonably environment for its patrons. When it fails to provide a reasonably safe environment, the restaurant is exhibiting negligent behavior. If you are injured at a restaurant because you believe the restaurant was unsafe, you may want to consider consulting with a lawyer that has experience in these types of cases.  

Winter is Coming…

Most people are not fond of wintertime–and for valid reasons. The temperatures are frigid and snow and ice can accumulate on the ground. Both of these situations are safety hazards for businesses that need to maintain their sidewalks and parking lots.

Obviously, ice is a major cause of slip and fall accidents. Winter-related accidents typically occur on sidewalks and parking lots in commercial areas. It is expected that business owners, including restaurants, are aware of this safety hazard and take reasonable care when it comes to maintaining the safety of areas where the public is expected to travel.

Due to this responsibility, restaurants are expected to periodically inspect their properties (including the outside areas), which in the winter often entails removing snow and ice within a reasonable time. If the restaurant fails to remedy the situation within a reasonable time, and you get hurt because of it, you can prove negligence. You can read about slip and fall on ice settlements here.

The Responsibility of Customers

Though the business owner has the responsibility to maintain his or her location and remove safety hazards within a reasonable amount of time, it is also worth mentioning that in the court of the law, some of the responsibility also falls on the customer.

It is considered a duty to exercise reasonable care when members of the public walk in an area they know (or should reasonably expect) could be snowy or icy. Consequently, if you are injured while walking outside the premises on snow or ice, the defendant may counter that you failed to act with reasonable care.  However, even if you might be partially at fault for not seeing the ice before you stepped on it, you can still recover from the property owner if they were negligent in allowing the ice or snow to accumulate.

What Do You Do If You Slip or Fall on Ice?

Property owners of restaurants are A) responsible for plowing and removing snow and ice in their parking lots and sidewalks in order to provide a clear path for pedestrians, or must B) hire a contractor to remove the snow and ice for the establishment.

There is a duty to remove this snow and ice within a reasonable time frame in order to anticipate the dangers of a slip and fall accident. The question in all slip and fall on ice settlements is whether or not the property owner acted reasonably considering the circumstances.

If you were injured in a slip and fall accident involving ice outside a restaurant, you may be able to recover the cost of your medical treatment. You may also be able to recover lost wages if the injuries put you out of work for a specific amount of time, and pain and suffering as a result of the slip and fall accident.

Slip and Fall Accidents on Ice Settlements

In order to file a lawsuit against a restaurant (or contractor) for failing to remove snow and ice from the parking lot and/or sidewalks in a reasonable amount of time, you need to document everything surrounding the injury claim.

Weather conditions change frequently, so the more you can document about the incident as soon as it happened, the better. If possible, take photos immediately following the accident and record everything from where the injury occurred to additional photos of what the area looked like around the time of the slip and fall.

Snow and ice are generally removed from business establishments on a regular schedule. So photos and footage that document the area as close to the time of when the injury occurred, the more valid your case will be when presented in a court of law.

In addition to photographing and videotaping the accident scene, also make sure that you write everything down while the memory is still fresh in your head. Any eye witnesses will also help your case. Make sure you write down their names and contact information.

Finally, make sure you save any medical bills associated with the injuries, as well as paperwork that was provided by your doctor. It can help demonstrate in a court of law the amount of damages and financial burden placed on you as a result of the accident.

Greenberg & Stein

An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you recover your medical costs, lost time at work, and pain and suffering as a result of the slip and fall.

Schedule an initial, free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers at Greenberg & Stein by calling 212-969-8784, or visit www.greenbergandstein.com.