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In most restaurant slip and fall cases, the reason someone slips and falls is because the restaurant failed to mop up the floor. This is most common in areas where many people are coming and going, such as by the tables in the main part of the restaurant or near the area where the food is cooked and the bar. Many times a customer will spill milk, water, ice, or some other substance, fail to notify the restaurant, and another customer will come along, with their attention directed to an eye-level, and slip and fall on the spilled substance, having never seen the substance that was left on the floor. Restaurants have a duty to check the restaurant’s floors to make sure they are free of spilled substances that can cause people to slip and fall.
In a restaurant slip and fall case, you have to prove that the owner the restaurant or knew or reasonably should have known that the floor was slippery to be the point of being dangerous. This may be very obvious or it may be difficult to prove.
A lawyer can help you achieve the desired outcome in a case like this by doing any number of things, such as obtaining surveillance footage to show when the substance or content that you slipped and fell on was spilled. In these kinds of cases, timing is very important. If you slipped and fell on a substance that was only on the floor for a very short period of time, then the restaurant will likely prevail on the argument that it could not have reasonably have known to clean up the spill, assuming the spill did not occur within the sight of the restaurant’s employees or management.
However, if the spilled substance has been on the floor for a long period of time and the restaurant’s employees and management neglected to clean it up or neglected to do a timely check of the premises to make sure it was free of dangerous substances, then your case is much stronger.
These cases are not always easy to win. Sometimes the restaurant is able to win these cases if they can prove that they had no way of knowing that they either did know or should have known that the restaurant was dangerous because of the spilled substance. It may seem unfair, but this is the reality and the challenges posed by these kinds of cases.
The most common winning arguments advanced by the insurance company for the defense is that the substance you slipped and fell on was obvious, or that you should have seen where you were going, or that you were using the property in a way that was not safe. For instance, the latter might be applicable in a case where a child is running or rough-housing around the restaurant.
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