The typical American eats out between four and five times per week. In fact, studies indicate that more of the average family’s monthly food budget is now spent in restaurants than on home-cooked meals. While the convenience afforded by dining out allows more time for other activities, it is not without risk. Just as other types of businesses may cause great harm to customers when due care is not exercised, the negligence of a restaurant may result in serious injuries. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a restaurant accident, the Raleigh premises liability attorneys at Maurer Law are well-versed in these claims and are ready to help you vigorously seek compensation.
In addition to food-related injuries, such as food poisoning, burns, and choking accidents, restaurant accidents very often involve slip and falls. These accidents may occur in the main area of the restaurant, in the bathroom, in the parking lot, or on steps or ramps going into the restaurant. Regardless of where the accident happened, an injured customer may pursue compensation for damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and the pain and suffering that resulted from the accident.Taking Legal Action After a Restaurant Accident
Granted, businesses like restaurants are not insurers of the safety of consumers. On the other hand, they are expected to take reasonable care in keeping their premises in a safe condition for patrons. They need to respond promptly to hazards that may arise and refrain from creating unnecessary risks of harm. The burden of proof is on the person seeking compensation to prove that they suffered injuries because of an act of negligence by the defendant. Negligence cases have four elements: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. A prompt and thorough investigation into the circumstances of a restaurant accident may go far in helping a plaintiff prevail at trial.
There are also various other doctrines that may need to be taken into account. For example, the plaintiff’s claim must be filed within the statute of limitations, which defines the time period for bringing a case under North Carolina law. Also, the plaintiff may need to deal with a defendant’s allegation of contributory negligence, a doctrine under which a plaintiff whose own fault contributed to an accident is not allowed to recover compensation, no matter their degree of fault. For example, a restaurant may argue that the dangerous condition was open and obvious, so the plaintiff should have noticed it. This type of inquiry is highly fact-specific, and it is important to seek guidance from a slip and fall attorney who is experienced in overcoming assertions of contributory negligence.Discuss Your Premises Liability Case with a Raleigh Attorney
Many people who are injured in a restaurant accident are tempted to take a “wait and see” approach. They think that they have plenty of time to talk to a lawyer if the defendant’s insurance company does not offer a fair settlement. This is a very risky thing to do because evidence may quickly disappear, leaving the plaintiff with little to support their case. If you have been hurt in a restaurant accident, you should not hesitate to talk to a Raleigh premises liability lawyer about your legal rights. Call Maurer Law today at (919) 229-8359 or contact us online to set up your free appointment. Our injury lawyers represent people in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Charlotte, Rocky Mount, Greensboro, Wilmington, Chapel Hill, Asheboro, and Wake Forest, as well as other areas of Cumberland, Durham, Mecklenburg, Edgecombe, Guilford, New Hanover, Orange, Randolph, and Wake Counties.