A trip over a folded carpet or broken flooring can be easily proven in a slip and fall case. But if a person slips on spilled liquid or a dropped food item, the hazard may quickly be cleaned up without a trace of evidence left behind. In Rhode Island, victims can collect compensation for a fall on any slippery surface resulting from negligence. Because it may be difficult to get payment for these injuries, it’s important to understand common food-related slip and fall accidents, and who’s liable.
Parties That May Be Responsible for a Food-Related Slip or Fall
All slip and fall accidents are based on negligence. Simply put, if someone knew that there were conditions that could lead to a slip and did not correct those conditions, that person could be held liable.
Liable parties for a food-related slip or fall can include:
- Restaurants and bars. Businesses have a duty to clean up spilled sodas, salad bar foods, condiments, and other slippery hazards within a reasonable timeframe. Restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, movie theaters, or any other vendor that sells or serves food could be held liable for a fall on the premises.
- Grocery stores. Markets and gas stations have to place warning signs around areas that have been recently mopped, and these signs should also be used to mark other hazard areas such as leaking refrigerator cases. If no sign or barrier is placed at the hazard, the establishment might be found guilty of negligence.
- Third parties. In some cases, a third party might be held liable for negligence such as the delivery company who left a crate of food in the walkway of a supermarket patio or the ice cream store next to the parking lot that did not clean up dropped cones.
- The victim. Rhode Island injury cases adopt a system called comparative negligence, which means the victim can be assigned some portion of the blame for his part in an injury. However, the state statute is fairly forgiving toward the victim. If the injured person can show that someone else was even one percent at fault, the victim will still be eligible for damages.
Evidence is the biggest factor in winning a slip and fall case. Victims who take a picture of the conditions of the floor (including the location of the food item and whether a “wet floor” sign was present) and have the names of witnesses on the scene are much more likely to get compensation for their claims. Our attorneys can carefully examine the facts of your case to determine who was at fault, and we can take over the investigation of your claim while you heal. Contact our offices today to schedule your no-obligation consultation with our legal advisors.