A restaurant slip accident claim is usually initiated because a person or persons responsible for ensuring health and safety on the premises has failed in their duty of care. However, it is important to note that restaurants and similar food-serving venues do not have an “absolute” duty of care to keep their premises free from hazards.
This means that, if you slip in a restaurant accident due to a hazard that those responsible for health and safety had not had “reasonable” time to identify and attend to, your restaurant slip accident claim will likely be contested and prove to be unsuccessful. For this reason, it is always recommended that you seek professional legal advice after receiving medical treatment for your injuries.
The Importance of Prompt Medical Treatment
In most cases, it is unnecessary to advise potential plaintiffs to seek medical treatment for their injuries, however there is good reason for suggesting it should be done without delay. A backwards slip can result in damage to your spine or a head injury that, if it remains untreated, can lead to life-long health issues.
Even the slightest delay can lead to an avoidable deterioration in your health and not only might this have consequences for any settlement of a restaurant slip accident claim, it might also lead to a scenario in which your claim is contested on the grounds that your might have sustained your injury elsewhere than in the restaurant, or it was avoidable exacerbated by your own lack of care.
How Contributory Negligence Can Affect a Restaurant Slip Accident Claim
Failing to seek prompt medical attention is only one way in which it can be argued you contributed to your injury by your own lack of care. If you had been drinking, failed to pay attention to your environment, or were acting in any way contrary to that of a restaurant patron, you might also be considered to have contributed to either the cause of your accident or extent of your injury.
Contributory negligence will not necessarily disqualify you from making a restaurant slip accident claim, but it will likely affect the settlement of your claim and prevent the Injuries Board from conducting an assessment of your claim. Instead a settlement will have to be negotiated or awarded by a court, in which case you will be assigned a percentage liability for your own negligence and that percentage deducted from your settlement.
Making a Claim for a Restaurant Slip Accident
If contributory negligence is not an issue, making a claim for a restaurant slip accident follows the same process as any other personal injuries (*) claim. You submit an application for assessment to the Injuries Board and, provided the restaurant´s insurance company consents to the assessment being conducted, your claim will be assessed. When the assessment is completed, you will be advised of the proposed settlement.
If you or the restaurant´s insurance company disagree with the assessment, you will be issued with an “Authorisation” to pursue your claim in court. This does not mean a court appearance will be necessary as many claims of this nature are settled by negotiation. What is important is that you avoid accepting an unsolicited offer of compensation from the restaurant´s insurance company until you have sought professional legal advice.
Even before your restaurant slip accident claim reaches this stage, it can be worthwhile seeking professional legal advice. The Injuries Board´s application for assessment is not always the most straightforward form to complete depending on the circumstance of your accident and the consequences of your injury. It can often be in your best interests to get assistance with the submission of the form from a source that is familiar with the procedures for making a restaurant slip accident claim.