Restaurants have an important job to do in serving great food and keeping all of their guests safe. But when you get hurt while out to eat, it's natural to want compensation for it. Here are some questions that you can ask to see if you have a good basis for a personal injury case.
What is the Injury?
Some types of injuries are more prone to success in a personal injury case against a restaurant than others. If the food gave you food poisoning, it will depend on how severe the reaction is. Allergens are one issue that stands a high chance of success if you have a life threatening reaction. If you were injured by the property, again, the degree of injury matters a lot in your success. If you were injured by another person who was dining at the restaurant, that's less a case of liability for the restaurant.
Was the Restaurant Negligent?
It's also great if you can prove that the restaurant was somehow negligent. One common way this happens is if they fail to list out the allergens in their food. The negligence is especially strong if one of their dishes has an allergen that you wouldn't normally expect to be in that dish, such as peanuts in pesto.
Unprepared staff can lead to negligence. If the chefs or sous chefs aren't actually qualified to do safe food handling and preparation, that represents a huge negligence on the part of the restaurant for not properly vetting or training their staff.
The building itself can be part of a restaurant's negligence. If there are unsafe conditions -- open electrical sockets, uneven floors, improperly secured shelving -- that is the restaurant's fault if someone ends up getting hurt.
How Much Damage Can You Prove?
This is the part where you bring in a personal injury attorney. They will be interested in how much potential damage you can claim for your injury. It's one thing to prove that the restaurant was at fault for your injury, but it's another to get a settlement that is worth the time of filing a lawsuit. Help your lawyer tally up the cost of medical bills, expected ongoing care, and physical or emotional trauma to determine how much you're likely to win in your lawsuit. That will be the final determining factor in whether you should proceed with your case or chalk it up to a terrible experience.