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Restaurant slip and fall accidents can often be prevented

When you head out to a restaurant for dinner, you're generally looking for a good time—but a sudden slip and fall can quickly turn a good time into a disaster. Restaurants are, unfortunately, fairly dangerous places where it can be easy to lose your footing.

Here are some of the most common reasons that slip and fall accidents happen in restaurants:

1. Poor lighting

Restaurants often use low lighting or recessed lights to both create a certain atmosphere of intimacy for their customers and to make everything more appealing than it might seem under harsh, bright lights. That "mood lighting" can make it difficult to see where you're walking, especially if there's dark flooring involved.

If there's a low step or two that takes you into the bar section or into a reserved seating area, it can be easy to miss the step entirely and end up sprawled on the ground instead of seated at a table. A simple strip of bright tape at the edge of the step or a simple warning from the hostess guiding you to your seat could go a long way toward preventing such accidents.

2. Spills

There's a lot of drinks being served and soups, sauces, and grease can all get onto the floor very easily. Restaurants aren't automatically responsible for a fall caused by a slippery substance left on the floor, but they do have a duty to keep the premises reasonably safe for their guests from known dangers. Since spills happen in restaurants all the time, the restaurant should have someone checking the floor regularly for anything that could present a hazard and clean up anything that's spotted right away.

Sometimes a restaurant's customary practices actually create the danger of a slip and fall accident. For example, the Texas Roadhouse restaurant chain is known for encouraging patrons to throw peanut shells directly on the floor. This has actually resulted in several falls—which has cost the restaurant each time.

3. Slippery Flooring

The actual flooring itself can also be a danger. If a tile floor is heavily waxed or gets covered in slush and snow around the entrance during the winter months, that could predictably lead to a fall. Welcome mats and rubber-backed runners should be in place to present such injuries.

If you've been injured in a slip and fall accident at a restaurant that could have easily been prevented, consider discussing the situation with an attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Slip and Fall Accidents Overview," accessed Dec. 30, 2016

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