Injury Lawyer For Slip and Fall Accidents at Chick-fil-A
No one enters a Chick-fil-A restaurant anticipating a severe accident. However, the potential is always there. Chick-fil-A has thousands of restaurants across the country and tens of thousands of employees. For most people, the appeal of a fast-food restaurant is the fast pace, and the result is consistent foot traffic and busy employees. Unfortunately, employees may fail to check for safety hazards during congested parts of the day, leaving customers vulnerable to slip and fall accidents. If someone else’s negligence caused you to slip and fall at a Chick-fil-A, you may have the opportunity to recover some or all of the losses you incurred from the accident.
How Does a Slip and Fall Accident Happen at Chick-fil-A?
Hazardous conditions can appear almost anywhere in a fast-food restaurant, and not all accidents warrant a lawsuit. You need two elements to make a strong slip and fall accident case: proof that someone else’s negligence caused the accident and the damages incurred because of the accident. Some examples of potential causes include:
- A drink or food spill left on the floor with no warning signage around it
- Wet floors from mopping or water tracked in from outside with no warning signage
- Pooled water on the tiled floor in the bathroom
- Pooled water from leaking equipment
- Neglected trashcans with trash overflowing on the floor inside or outside of the restaurant
- Broken tiles or worn rugs that create a tripping hazard
- Loose handrails in the bathroom or entrance
- Tripping hazards left by staff, such as brooms, mops, or electrical cords
- Poorly maintained parking lot or walkways outdoors
Most of these examples render the employees responsible for your accident and any injuries you sustain. However, if you file a lawsuit, the burden of proving negligence falls on you, the plaintiff.
Possible Injuries From a Slip and Fall Accident
The possible injuries caused by a slip and fall accident range in severity, but even the milder injuries carry a heavy physical, emotional, and financial burden. Some possible injuries include:
- Head injuries: concussion, hematoma, contusion, bruised brain tissue, skull pressure or swelling, hemorrhage, and skull fracture
- Back injuries: twisting of the spinal cord, torn ligaments, torn tendons, herniated disc, fractured vertebrae, nerve damage, and soft tissue tears
- Muscle injuries: sprains, strains, and tears
- Broken or fractured bones: hips, hands, feet, wrists, ankles
- Knee injuries: torn ligaments
People with previous concussions or knee injuries are at a higher risk for more severe injury in those areas. Additionally, seniors are more likely to break bones, especially in the hips, and any of these injuries could turn more severe or cause temporary or permanent disability. There are milder examples, like minor cuts and bruises that hardly warrant medical treatment, but it is important to note that you must have damages to sue. A slip and fall accident without injury does not warrant a lawsuit.
How Can Fault Affect Your Potential Compensation?
As the plaintiff, you must prove that another person caused your accident and the subsequent injuries. To better understand that concept, you must understand premises liability and the rule of comparative negligence.
Premises Liability and the Duty of Care
Premises liability is a legal concept requiring property owners to provide a reasonable standard of safety to all visitors on their property with excess or implied permission to be there. This applies to residential and commercial property owners alike. For example, the owner of a Chick-fil-A restaurant is responsible for maintaining a safe parking lot for customers. This means fixing any damaged or cracked pavement that could be a tripping hazard, pouring salt on the walkways outside to avoid ice accumulation, and plowing snow during the winter months in New York when snowfall is heavy. It also means taking reasonable action to keep the inside safe as well.
The Standard of Reasonableness
The most common argument presented by a plaintiff in a slip and fall accident case is that the property owner should have known that the dangerous condition that caused your fall was there because any reasonable person would have known and removed it. What constitutes a reasonable person? There are a few questions the court can ask to determine if the property owner or staff acted reasonably:
- Does the property owner have a procedure for employees to make regular safety checks in and around the restaurant? If so, is there documented proof?
- Could a partition or barrier have prevented the accident?
- If an object caused the fall, was it there for a legitimate reason? If so, was the object there longer than it needed to be?
- Did a lack of proper lighting contribute to the dangerous condition?
- If damaged flooring caused the accident, was it there long enough that the property owner or staff should have known about it and had it fixed?
Essentially, determining whether or not the property owner or staff acted reasonably requires common sense logic. Furthermore, one party is not always 100% at fault for the accident.
Comparative Negligence in New York
When both parties share fault in a slip and fall accident, the comparative negligence rule applies to determine how to award compensation respective to the amount of responsibility the plaintiff holds. The jury must decide two figures: the percentage of fault you bear and the amount awarded for damages. The comparative negligence rule mandates that the percentage of responsibility you bear equals the percentage deducted from the award. There are two types of comparative negligence, pure and modified, and every state follows one or the other. New York follows the rule of pure comparative negligence. Pure comparative negligence states that you are still eligible for compensation if you are not found 100% at fault for the accident. Therefore, if the jury finds you 50% at fault for your injuries and awards you $20,000, you only receive $10,000 in compensation.
What Should You Do After a Slip and Fall Accident?
Immediately following a slip and fall accident, there are a few steps you can take to protect your health and your potential lawsuit:
- Seek help. If you are seriously injured, call emergency medical services or ask someone nearby to call for you.
- Ask for the person in charge. If you do not need emergency medical care, ask to see the supervisor or manager on duty. Relay the accident details to them and request a copy of the accident report.
- Document everything. Get the name and contact information of the owner and any witnesses, and take photos of the scene.
- Contact a slip and fall accident lawyer. It is best to discuss the details of your case with an attorney while they are fresh in your mind.
The most crucial element is your health. See a doctor right away, even if you feel fine. Some injuries, like a concussion or hemorrhage, can have latent symptoms but need immediate treatment.
How Can A Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer Help You?
The aftermath of a slip and fall accident can be overwhelming, especially if it results in severe injury. An experienced slip and fall injury lawyer can help relieve the financial burden of medical bills and lost wages by helping you value your claim correctly and deal with the insurance company for you. If you sustained an injury in a slip and fall accident at Chick-fil-A, the attorneys at Hill & Moin could help you demand proper compensation and be on your way to healing physically and financially. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.
If you sustained an injury from a slip and fall accident at any of the following commercial properties, our personal injury attorneys can help:
- Baskin Robbins
- Bath & Body Works
- Big Lots
- BJ’s Wholesale Club
- Burger King
- Burlington Coat Factory