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Fast Food Restaurant Slip And Fall Case

March 23, 2009

The following is an expert answer given by Florida personal injury lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Subject: Slip/Trip/Etc and Fall Case?

Question: Hello. About a year and a half ago, I stopped with my family to eat at a fast food restaurant with my family in a small town while on a road-trip. Only one table was left, and being the youngest one of the bunch (15), I was expected to find my way to the booth side of that unnecessarily complicated and dangerous table set up. After eating, my family got up, and I, once again, needed to navigate out of the booth. Option A would have been to slide to my left lifting my legs over the table to avoid them smashing into a bar joining into the seat. It seemed a bit too dangerous, so I chose Option B: standing up and twisting my legs and body to the side in order to squeeze between the two tables that only a young child could fit through with out turning. As I did, the excessive strain on my left knee caused my knee to dislocate, which in turn caused me to collapse on the floor under the tables. My father had to call an ambulance, and I waited for it to arrive for 45  minutes. During that time the manager on duty came over with ice, insisting that I must have injured my knee previously. My father did not call to report the incident, neither did the manager. No names were taken down, not even of a witnessing family who offered to house us for the night out of concern. All in all, no surgery was required after my knee popped back in place. My leg was immobilized for a few weeks until I could walk on it. The orthopedic specialist told me that the chance of my knee dislocating again is extremely heightened, and that if it were to happen again I would need surgery. Now, a year and some later, I am still experiencing pain in my knee and am unable to participate in school sports or do any strenuous activity with my knee without debilitating pain. My mother and I would like to know if this is under the category of a slip and fall case, and if the fast food restaurant should be held liable. If it is, we would of course seek counsel. Though the incident was poorly documented, I believe that that table design in that fast food restaurant is still in use and could cause similar harm to others.

Answer: The answer to your question depends on the state in which you live.  You should contact an attorney in your area that specializes in personal injury claims to get specific information about the laws in your state, and whether you have a slip and fall case.  Generally, a restaurant owner owes two duties to it customers – to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition, and to warn its customers of dangerous conditions which the restaurant knew of, or should have known of.  I am in Florida, so I don’t know how Courts in your area treat an incident like you have described. However, most, if not all, states have Statutes of Limitations.  A statute of limitations is a time period in which you have to bring a claim or you will be precluded from bringing the claim.  Since it has been 1 1/2 years since your slip and fall case happened, I would urge you to speak to an attorney that specializes in personal injury claims as soon as possible. Most Personal Injury attorneys will meet with you for a free initial consultation, and handle claims such as yours on a contingent basis. This means that you are not responsible for any attorney’s fees or costs if the attorney does not recover money for you.  As such, you have nothing to lose to at least speak to an attorney in your area about your slip and fall case.  

For more information about a slip and fall case, contact Florida premises liability lawyer Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529 or email him today.

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