If I slipped and fell at a fast food restaurant 2 weeks ago and was injured, what sort of action should I take?

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If I slipped and fell at a fast food restaurant 2 weeks ago and was injured, what sort of action should I take?

The floor was wet and there were no caution signs to warn customers. I fell on my hip and pulled my groin. I reported the incident to the manager but I haven’t received any correspondence about how, or if, I will be compensated for lost wages, pain and suffering, etc. Do I have to contact a lawyer?

Asked on August 1, 2014 under Personal Injury, Maine

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you want to seek compensation, you'll have to sue if they do not voluntarily compensate you. Bear in mind the following:

1) You can only recover an amount equal to out-of-pocket medical bills, actual lost wages which you can prove came from the injury, and IF the injury caused you significant impairment or disability for several weeks or longer, some amount for pain and suffering--usually (very rough rule of thumb) equal to the amount you receive for the medical bills, more or less.

2) You'll have to pay your own legal costs and will not be able to get them back from the other side.

3) You'll have to prove they were negligent or careless--e.g. that the wet floor had been there long enough (more than a few minutes) that they'd be expected to have seen it and taken action--that is, if another customer spilled something right before you slipped, the restaurant would not be liable, since in that case, there was no reasonable chance for them to have taken action.


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