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Who’s Liable if You Slip and Fall at a Restaurant?


Going to a restaurant should be a relaxing and enjoyable experience — no one expects to go out for a meal only to become injured. Although owners are required to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition, there are many hazards at restaurants that can lead to slip and fall accidents causing severe injuries. If you were hurt due to dangerous conditions at a restaurant, you might be entitled to recover compensation for your damages by filing a personal injury lawsuit.  

Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents at Restaurants   

Restaurants have a legal duty to keep the premises safe and free from known and foreseeable dangers. If a restaurant owner knows a hazardous condition exists that could cause injury to a patron, employee, or anyone else on the property, they must remedy it in a timely manner — or provide an adequate warning. Failure to do so can result in their being held liable for any injuries that occur as a result.     

Slip and fall accidents at restaurants can happen for a variety of reasons. Common causes of slip and fall accidents at restaurants can include:

  • Beverage and food spills
  • Rain and precipitation
  • Improper use of cleaning products
  • Lack of slip-resistant floor mats
  • Failure to use “wet floor” signs
  • Poor lighting
  • Torn carpet
  • Grease spills

Critically, New York follows the rule of comparative negligence. This means that a slip and fall accident victim can still recover their damages even if they share some of the blame. The defendant may try to argue the victim’s shoes caused the fall — or the dangerous condition was so open and obvious that they should have observed it. While a victim would not be barred from receiving compensation in such cases, their award would be reduced by their percentage of fault.

Liability for Restaurant Slip and Fall Accidents

Depending on the facts and circumstances of the accident, there may be a number of parties who could potentially be held liable for any resulting injuries. For example, a property owner might be responsible if you were injured as a result of a known defect on the premises. The restaurant owner may also be held accountable for failing to correct certain hazards they knew about — or should have known about — such as spills and faulty floor mats. In some cases, a restaurant owner may also be held liable for the negligence of their employees.

Recovering Damages in a Restaurant Slip and Fall

Slip and falls at restaurants can result in serious injuries, permanent disability, and time lost from work. If you fall at a restaurant, it’s critical to seek medical attention right away — even if you don’t think you were injured. Certain injuries may not appear until days or weeks later. By going to the emergency room, a doctor can determine your injuries and recommend a course of medical treatment. In addition, medical documentation is the foundation of every personal injury case. Without it, you will not be able to prove the extent of your injuries.  

If the negligence of another is to blame for your restaurant slip and fall injuries, you may be entitled to recover your economic and non-economic damages by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Economic damages can include things like unreimbursed medical expenses, lost wages, and out-of-pocket costs incurred in connection with your medical treatment. Non-economic damages are meant to cover the pain and suffering you experienced due to your slip and fall injuries.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Slip and fall injuries can be devastating and it’s important to ensure the negligent party is held liable for their actions — or inaction. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can guide you through the legal process of filing a premises liability lawsuit and work to secure the compensation you are entitled for your injuries. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has more than 30 years of experience fighting for the rights of accident victims and achieving positive outcomes in their cases.

The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has convenient office locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, as well as mobile locations serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester, Rockland County, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. Contact us today for a consultation.