Restaurant owners in Michigan have a responsibility to their patrons to provide a safe establishment in which to eat and enjoy the company of family or friends. However, slip and falls, food poisoning, hot food spills, and poorly lit stairs are all accidents that are common. If you have been hurt as a result of a restaurant accident, the Grand Rapids and Traverse City premises liability lawyers at the Neumann Law Group are ready to assist you in exploring your options.Protecting Your Rights After a Restaurant Accident
If your accident was a result of a dangerous condition in a restaurant, you may be able to recover damages by bringing a premises liability lawsuit. In a premises liability lawsuit in Michigan, you need to establish that the owner or possessor of the property had actual or constructive notice of a dangerous condition. It may be challenging to prove that a restaurant owner actually knew about a dangerous condition, such as a broken bumper in the restaurant parking lot or a spilled liquid. This information may not be documented. However, if an employee of the restaurant created the dangerous condition, the restaurant is deemed to have constructive notice. Similarly, if a spilled liquid or another dangerous condition is in one place for a long time without being cleaned or discovered, you may be able to establish constructive notice.
In some cases, you may need to obtain surveillance footage and depositions of eyewitnesses and employees. Over time, evidence may vanish. In some cases, surveillance videotapes are routinely used again, and the footage that you need may be recorded over. After a slip and fall or another similar accident, you should immediately contact an attorney who can send a letter to the restaurant, advising it of the possibility of litigation so that it is on notice that it should preserve evidence.
What if you are injured just outside the restaurant due to weather conditions, such as an icy sidewalk? When a restaurant owns or controls the area outside the restaurant, it may be responsible for your injuries. For example, in Michigan, a landowner has a duty to take reasonable measures in icy or snowy conditions to reduce the risk of injury to its patrons. However, if the accumulation is open and obvious, the restaurant owner need only diminish the dangerous accumulation if there is a special aspect of the accumulation that makes it unreasonably unsafe.
Sometimes, it may be appropriate to sue a restaurant under a theory of negligence after an accident. For example, if a server is clumsy and spills scalding food on you, resulting in burn injuries, you may have a basis to sue the server and the restaurant for negligence. Negligence may be established by proving that a duty to use reasonable care was breached, and the breach caused your injuries. As the employer of the server, the restaurant may be held vicariously (indirectly) liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior. This doctrine allows an accident victim to hold an employer responsible for an employee's negligence in the course and scope of their job.Enlist a Traverse City or Grand Rapids Lawyer for a Premises Liability Case
If you suffer injuries in a restaurant accident, our Traverse City and Grand Rapids premises liability attorneys may be able to help you recover damages. The Neumann Law Group also represents people in Ann Arbor, Flint, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Detroit, Wyoming, Saginaw, Muskegon, Midland, Holland, Warren, and Petoskey, as well as communities throughout the Upper Peninsula. Contact us at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form for a free consultation with an injury lawyer.