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Injuries in Restaurants: How They Happen and What You Can Do

In Hollywood and South Florida, residents and visitors have a range of restaurants to choose from when they want to dine out. From casual, quick meals to elaborate and luxurious dining experiences, South Florida offers a range of options from all world cuisines.

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When heading to a restaurant to dine out, of course you expect good service and food as well as a safe environment. The last thing you may expect is a serious injury. Unfortunately, each year people are seriously injured in restaurants due to poor hygiene, insufficient food safety measures, inadequate maintenance, and other issues.

Some of the most common injuries that can happen in restaurants occur as a result of:

1) Uneven or slippery floors.

More than 4 million restaurant visitors and workers in this country are injured each year due to slip and fall and trip and fall accidents, reports the Floor Safety Institute. Uneven tiles, spilled drinks and food, and other issues can easily pose a hazard, which can be exacerbated by low mood lighting in many dining areas.

2) Food-borne illness.

Incorrectly prepared food – especially food not heated up to adequate temperatures – can cause serious and even life-threatening illness. Proper hygiene is also essential in the kitchen, as is proper screening to make sure employees don’t have communicable illnesses and follow proper food preparation guidelines.

3) Assault and crime.

Restaurateurs whose businesses are located in higher-risk areas may need to hire security personnel or offer valet or other services to keep guests safe. If diners are attacked or robbed when entering or leaving a Hollywood restaurant due to inadequate security, they may have a claim against the establishment’s owners.

4) Parking lot accidents.

If pedestrian accidents or car accidents happen in a parking lot belonging to a restaurant, the restaurant owners may be held liable if they did not provide adequate signage or lighting or failed to properly maintain the parking area.

5) Falling objects.

It’s not something diners consider, but falling objects can pose a significant hazard in restaurants. Many establishments update their décor often or rely on unusual pieces – such as unique lighting fixtures – to create certain ambience. If any pieces of décor or building materials fall on a guest, the owner may be held liable. A similar claim may be made if something falls from the second stage of a two-story dining area into the first story or if a server drops a tray or another object on a diner.

6) Burns.

Hot soups, drinks, and meals can cause serious burns if they are spilled on guests. Diners can also hurt themselves if food and beverages are heated to extreme temperatures. Restaurant owners and workers are responsible for ensuring meals delivered to tables are at the right temperatures.

There are some things diners can do to reduce their risk of injuries. For instance, they can remain aware of their surroundings and report any unsafe conditions (such as food not heated to the right temperature. Ultimately, however, it is the business owners who have a duty of care and must ensure that conditions are safe for diners.

If you have been injured while trying to get takeout or trying to have a meal out, it’s important to get answers. Your injuries may be serious; you may have suffered fractures, a head injury, or other serious long-term injury. To find out what legal avenues may be open to you, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation.