Who is Liable if I Fall While Eating Dinner at a Restaurant in Navarre, Florida?
When you take your family out for dinner, the last thing you expect is for someone to get hurt. You want to have a nice night out and enjoy a good meal. You go to your favorite restaurant and the hostess leads you to a nice table by the window. As you are looking at the menu, you lean over to show your husband something that looks good when your chair breaks and you fall. You smash your head on the hard tile and twist your back. You can’t move.
Suffering a fall can be very scary. It can also be embarrassing. If you do fall in a restaurant while in Navarre, Florida, you are going to need a personal injury attorney. The most important thing is that you seek medical attention immediately. Even if you don’t think you were hurt that bad, it’s important that you go to the hospital. You need to make sure you really are okay. You also need to document your injuries right away. Be sure and take photographs of the scene and get the names and contact information of any witnesses.
Restaurants in Florida are Responsible for their Customers’ Safety
If you go to a restaurant in Navarre, Florida, you shouldn’t have to worry about getting hurt. The worst that should happen is you order something you don’t like. However, accidents do happen. In Florida, restaurants are responsible for their patrons’ safety. They owe you the duty of making sure that the chairs you sit on are safe. Whether the chair was wobbly or poorly constructed, if you fall as a result, the restaurant is liable.
Florida law requires that restaurants provide a safe environment for their customers. Chances are, if you fall while at a restaurant, it is due to negligence. The restaurant manager or owner has a duty to inspect their premises and equipment to make sure they are safe. If a customer gets hurt by falling from a chair, the restaurant should be held liable. You can’t put the burden of safety on the customer. Not only is the restaurant owner in control of the premises and equipment, but he can more easily bear the costs of any injuries.
Defenses to Negligence in Florida
If you fall in a restaurant in Florida, the restaurant should be held responsible for your injuries. Of course, the restaurant owner is going to have insurance to cover falls and other accidents. Their insurance company will review your claim and, hopefully, pay it. However, if they don’t you are going to need a personal injury lawyer. The restaurant owner will have lawyers working for him. They are going to argue that the fall was not his fault.
Some of the defenses to negligence that the defendant may raise include:
- There was nothing wrong with the chair – you simply leaned over too far
- You were too heavy to sit on the chair and caused it to break
- You were extremely intoxicated at the time of the accident
All of these would fall under what Florida refers to as comparative negligence. The defendant will claim that you were at fault as much or more than he was. Your personal injury lawyer will work hard to defeat all of these arguments. If you are found to be partly at fault in Florida, it doesn’t mean your entire claim will be dismissed. It means that your claim will be reduced by your percentage of fault. So, if you sued for $100,000 and the court found you were 25% at fault, your claim would be reduced to $75,000.
Remember, just because the defendant claims you were at fault doesn’t mean the court will agree. However, it does give your lawyer an incentive to try to settle your claim. Nobody wants to go to court, including the defendant and his insurance company. They want to settle the case as much as you do. If they have a strong case for comparative negligence, it makes sense for your lawyer to try to settle it. You don’t want to risk losing the case all together in court.
Contact a Personal Injury Firm in Navarre, Florida
If you or your child have been injured in a restaurant fall, you need to contact a personal injury firm in Navarre. You don’t want to go up against the defendant’s insurance company or lawyers by yourself. You want to have an experienced personal injury lawyer by your side. He can push to get you the maximum amount of compensation.
Contact them today to schedule your initial consultation. It is absolutely free and gives you the chance to ask any questions you may have. It also gives your lawyer a chance to see how strong your case may be. He can give you an idea of what your case may be worth. He can also reach out to the insurance company to see if a settlement is possible. The consultation is free and you pay nothing until your case settles.