Florida restaurants have a legal obligation to keep their properties safe for customers. From the parking lot to the dining spaces, property owners have a duty to make sure that diners are not exposed to dangers. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident at a restaurant, we can help. At our Law Offices, our seasoned Miami premises liability attorneys can evaluate your case and help you understand your legal rights and options. We are here to answer your questions and address your concerns at every step of the way.
Fall accidents in restaurants are more common than you may think. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that there were more than 50,000 reported injuries in the restaurant industry in 2016, a number of which were caused by slip and fall accidents. A number of risk factors, such as spills on walking surfaces as well as rain or mop water on the floors, can lead to slipping hazards that can cause people to slip and fall. In addition, loose mats or rugs, debris, and other hidden hazards can create tripping hazards within a restaurant. According to BLS data, about 15,000 reported nonfatal slip, trip, and fall injuries occurred in the restaurant industry in 2016.
All property owners in Florida have a duty to maintain their property and make sure it is free of hazards in order not to cause injuries to those who enter the land. The specific duty owed by a landowner to a visitor depends on the status of the visitor. For instance, a property owner owes a higher duty of care to a paying customer than a trespasser. In Florida, business owners, including restaurant owners, owe their customers the highest duty of care. These customers are legally categorized as people who are legally known as ‘invitees’ – individuals who are invited onto the property for business reasons. As a result, restaurant owners must protect invitees against known and reasonably ascertainable dangers. For example, if there is a spill on the floor, the restaurant should immediately put a “wet floor” sign to warn customers and then clean up the spill as quickly as possible. If the hazard cannot immediately be remedied, the restaurant should leave signage there or try to block off the area.