Going out for a meal or a drink should be convenient, if not pleasurable. People expect to enjoy a meal or beverage that they don’t have to prepare and then move on with their day. Unfortunately, some people who stop in for a quick bite somewhere will end up regretting that decision when they suffer an injury at the business.
Maybe someone spilled a margarita next to the bar, leading to a slip-and-fall wherein someone suffers a traumatic brain injury. Perhaps a server rushing by with a full tray of plates drops everything, leading to a neck injury for the patron struck by that heavy tray.
Those who have been hurt while trying to enjoy a meal at a business might wonder if they have a right to pursue a claim against the bar or restaurant for the injury they suffered. When would a business potentially be liable for a patron’s injuries?
When negligence contributed to the injury
Sometimes, businesses make very unsafe choices about the employee dress code or the design of their establishments. What they do to try to stand out from the competition might make the space less safe.
Other times, it is simply the all-too-common practice of maintaining very low staffing levels that will lead to people getting injured at a restaurant or bar. There could also be questions about culpability in an incident where someone who has had far too much to drink ends up hurting another patron.
Anytime that the injured patron can reasonably claim negligence, they may have grounds for a premises liability claim. If another reasonable person would agree that the business did something unsafe or failed to do something crucial for the safety of others, a patron hurt at that business might have a viable claim against the company.
Insurance often covers such situations
Although the injured patron will often need to pursue a lawsuit to secure compensation, it will typically be an insurance policy, rather than the business itself, that covers the costs associated with the claim. Bars and restaurants often have insurance that will protect them from lawsuits related to all kinds of scenarios, from someone burned by flambe to a person who falls and gets hurt in a flooded bathroom.
Recognizing when a business may be liable for someone’s harm is an important first step toward pursuing justice after an injury occurs. Anyone who is unsure of whether an establishment is at fault for their harm could potentially benefit from seeking legal guidance and greater clarity.