Did you or a loved fall from a platform or elevated booth at a restaurant in Florida? Are your injuries the result of the negligence of a restaurant that has failed to adequately mark or warn about step ‘downs’ from booths or differences in elevation in restaurants? The best steps you can take after a fall accident are to seek medical help and contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately to see if the attorney thinks you have a case. Since the restaurant’s insurance company is likely to try to contact you right after the accident, especially if you made out a report or were taken away by ambulance, it is best to contact an attorney as quickly as possible to make sure that you do everything correctly. The most important first step is NOT to give them any statement of any kind, and certainly never a recorded statement without first seeking the advice of a lawyer. There are many other “Do’s and Don’ts” which your lawyer can help you with and give you the best recommendations as to what steps to take.
When you go out to dinner with family or friends, the last thing on your mind is to check the elevations of restaurants. You’re there for a good time, have a good meal, and maybe have a drink or two. You shouldn’t have to worry about falling from an inadequately marked booth when you step down to leave or go to the bathroom. Even if they put one of their miniature signs on the table stating “Watch your Step”, who is really paying attention to it? You’re having fun, enjoying your meal; you shouldn’t have to worry about unnecessary dangers such as insufficiently marked, unlit step-downs from booths. Many times, the step-down is camouflaged because the step up is the same carpet as the step down (see picture above right—Dan Cytryn’s son’s feet are actually on two different levels. But you could never tell from this picture, without us telling you.
The only reasons steps are elevated in restaurants are for the benefit of the restaurant. They give what the restaurant feels is more of an ambience to the ‘scene’. There is no actual benefit to you, the customer. You’ll find these booths in many restaurants. We will subpoena the local paramedics’ reports to find out how many other people have fallen in a similar fashion. Guaranteed this happens thousands of times per year nationally, but the restaurants don’t care much. So that’s where we come in.
Coral Springs Applebee's - A client tripped on an elevated booth
What most people don’t know is that restaurants and other public facilities are the leading cause of fall accidents in this country (perhaps other than falls in your own home). According to the National Floor Safety Institute, more than 3 million food service employees are injured each year while working in restaurants or commercial kitchens. Slip or trip and fall accidents can occur due to inadequate lighting, grease trekked from the kitchen by employees, spills from waiters/waitresses and other customers, poorly positioned floor mats, stairs or steps that need repair, elevated booths that blend into the flooring, leaks from ice/fountain drink machines, and other hazards.
Law Offices Cytryn & Velazquez, P.A. recently handled a case against Applebee’s in the Coral Springs location. Our elderly client went with some of her family members to have dinner at the restaurant. The majority of the booths in the restaurant are elevated, which requires customers to take a step up to sit at the booth or to take a step down to leave the booth. When our client was leaving the table, she forgot the step down was there, and fell and broke her hip.
This was partly due to the fact that the carpeting on the platform was the same color and pattern as the carpeting on the floor below the platform, which created the illusion that the ground was a flat surface. In addition, there were no color strip markings or any clear indication to distinguish the platform from the floor below. We also found that the restaurant was poorly lit, causing the booth to create a shadow over the platform and consequently making it more difficult to see the platform step down. Sadly, due to the accident, our client suffered serious injuries including a broken hip that required surgery and difficulty walking. The lead attorney of our firm, Dan Cytryn handled her case and we were able to get a very reasonable settlement for the injured woman.
An appointment is not needed to see if we can take your case. And if we decide to take your case, you will not pay anything unless we are able to obtain monetary recovery for your accident. Don’t wait another day to see if you can get help for your injuries.
If you or someone you know has been injured due to an elevated booth at a restaurant or a platform that is not properly marked or needs repair, our attorneys might be able to help you. Call our office now at (954) 833-1440 for a free consultation.
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