Eating out is one of the best parts of living in or visiting North Myrtle Beach – a city well-known for its tourist crowds and buzzing restaurant scene. Unfortunately, sometimes even the most anticipated meals go wrong. It might have been an inattentive waiter who dropped a hot plate on you, a spilled beverage you slipped on, or an unsafe kitchen that led to food poisoning. Regardless of how you were hurt, if the restaurant was to blame, you could hold it responsible for the harm you suffered.
If any of these situations sound familiar, the Jebaily Law Firm wants to hear from you. Our North Myrtle Beach restaurant accident lawyers have more than 50 years of experience and can help you pursue compensation for your injuries. We give every client individual attention and do not charge any fees unless you win compensation.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case review. Our North Myrtle Beach restaurant accident attorneys are ready to analyze your situation and lay out your best legal options for pursuing maximum compensation.
Common Causes of Slips, Trips, and Falls at Restaurants
Slip-and-falls are some of the most common accidents at restaurants, often occurring because of:
- Slippery floors – Spilled food or drinks can make it challenging to keep your balance while walking on restaurant floors, leading to accidents. Slip-and-fall accidents can also happen in bathrooms and other areas near water lines if the restaurant does not keep up with maintenance.
- Cluttered walkways – Restaurants must store their food, drinks, plates, silverware, glasses, and other items away from walkways. They also need to keep debris from piling up on walkways. If restaurants do not keep their walkways clear, patrons can slip or trip and suffer severe injuries.
- Staircases and ramps with broken or loose stair treads or handrails – Worn or poorly maintained staircases can lead to slip-and-fall accidents if patrons step on a broken or loose step. Likewise, broken handrails can cause accidents if patrons do not have anything to grab while using a stairway or ramp.
- Uneven surfaces – When carpets in a restaurant tear or become bunched up, they create an uneven surface that someone can trip on. Similarly, uneven pavers, bricks, and other materials used in walkways can cause someone to slip and fall. If a restaurant owns a nearby parking lot, it might also be liable for slip-and-falls caused by potholes, cracks, or weather hazards.
- Unstable surfaces – Loose floorboards, broken tiles, and large area rugs can create an unstable surface that someone could slip and fall on.
- Poorly lit areas – It is difficult to avoid hazards on the floor if you cannot see where you are going. Bars and certain restaurants use minimal lighting in some areas, making a slip-and-fall accident more likely.
Other Types of Accidents in Restaurants
Slips, trips, and falls aren’t the only way patrons get hurt in North Myrtle Beach restaurants. Other common restaurant accidents include:
- Burns – Hot plates and drinks can cause severe burns if they touch a restaurant patron’s skin. Even if a plate is not hot, the food itself might be, causing someone to burn their mouth or tongue. Spilled hot liquids like coffee or soup can cause severe contact burns.
- Food poisoning – Restaurants that do not enforce proper hygiene standards leave patrons at risk of getting E. coli, salmonella, and other foodborne illnesses. Foodborne illnesses can be deadly in some cases.
- Inadequate security – In bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, there is a chance that a patron might drink too much and start a fight. Restaurants and bars should have security on site to prevent injuries and stop fights from starting, but in many cases, it is up to waitstaff or other patrons to keep order. Patrons might also suffer injuries if someone attacks or tries to rob them in a parking lot without adequate security, for example.
- Lacerations – Broken glasses and plates can cut patrons and cause severe bleeding. Deep lacerations can leave disfiguring scars.
Common Injuries Sustained in Restaurant Accidents
Some common injuries people sustain in North Myrtle Beach restaurant accidents include:
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Lacerations and bruises
- Severe burns
- Foodborne illnesses
Can You Sue for Negligence?
You have the right to sue a restaurant for negligence if the restaurant’s negligence led to your injury. Negligence is a legal term that describes a failure to take reasonable steps to prevent an accident. For example, a server who carelessly dropped a hot plate into your lap would likely be considered negligent, and their employer would, in turn, be liable for your injuries.
If you were injured by something on the restaurant’s premises, such as a spilled beverage or loose flooring, what you were doing there could affect your ability to file a lawsuit against the business. Patrons are owed a higher duty of care under South Carolina’s premises liability laws. Owners must keep their restaurants in good repair and free from hazards, or they may be liable when those hazards injure paying customers. Their duty to vendors and salespeople is lower, and they are only obligated to warn these visitors about potential hazards they are aware of.
Steps to Take If Injured at a Restaurant
Here is what you can do if you sustain any injuries at a North Myrtle Beach restaurant and want to protect your rights to compensation:
- Seek medical attention immediately and keep copies of your records.
- Notify a manager or the restaurant’s owner and make sure they make a written record of the accident.
- Take pictures of where the accident happened, any injuries you sustained, and any visible hazards.
- Write down the names of any eyewitnesses.
- Do not give statements to insurance companies until you have met with a lawyer.
- Hire a restaurant accident attorney.
Contact Jebaily Law Firm for Help After a Restaurant Accident in North Myrtle Beach
Were you hurt while visiting a bar or restaurant? The North Myrtle Beach restaurant accident lawyers at Jebaily Law Firm want to help you pursue compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.