It amazes me how often I enter a Charlotte restaurant bathroom to find there is water on the bathroom floor. It is usually easy to tell if the wet floor has just been mopped, or if the water on the bathroom floor is from the sink or a spill. Either way, the wet bathroom floor presents a particularly dangerous condition. Most restaurant bathroom floors are made of slick tile, and when someone slips and falls, there’s nothing soft to break their landing.
If you’ve been injured by slipping on a wet floor in a restaurant, you may be wondering whether you have a personal injury claim against the restaurant. It’s not always an easy answer, but if you review the four prong test for dangerous conditions on business premises, you can get a sense as to whether you may have a claim.
Was There A Duty?
In order for the business or restaurant to be liable to you in any way, you must first establish that they had a duty of care. If you are a business invitee on a property, the answer is generally yes, the establishment has a duty to keep the premises free of dangerous conditions, including wet bathroom floors. An example where a business may not have a duty would be if you were trespassing on the property late at night when the business was closed, and you were injured as a result.
Was There A Breach Of Duty?
Not only must you establish that a duty existed, but you must also establish that the duty was breached. This means the business, its agents or employees, failed to meet the standard of care the law holds them to, regarding the condition of the property. If the premises are to be kept reasonably free of hazards, and if there is water on the bathroom floor (a hazard), then you would have a strong argument the duty to you has been breached.
Was There Notice Of The Hazard?
It is not enough that there is a duty and that the duty was breached. In a negligence case involving the example of water on a bathroom floor, you must show the entity in control of the property had notice of the hazard. This notice can be actual notice, or constructive notice. An example of constructive notice would treat the party as if they knew, simply because they should have known. If a banana peel drops on the floor and five seconds later you slip on it, chances are the party controlling the premises didn’t have actual or constructive notice. If you trip instead on a dark brown banana peel, suggesting the peel has been on the floor for quite some time, you could argue the store knew or should have known about the existence of the dangerous condition.
Were There Damages As A Direct Result?
Hopefully this question makes sense. Even if there is a duty, and even if that duty is breached, if you don’t have damages you don’t have a claim or case. The reason is that you have not experienced a loss. A personal injury claim is made to seek compensation for a loss. That loss can be physical (a broken arm, a concussion), and it can also be less tangible, as is the case with anxiety. Typically, you can recover for all damages which stem directly from the injury sustained.
Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you want to know if you have a personal injury claim or case, give us a call. We will listen to your story, ask a few questions, and help you understand your options. We can be reached by requesting a call HERE, or by calling us at 704.749.7747. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.