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Have you ever been injured in a restaurant?

Kate is always hungry Feb 2, 2009 10:31 PM

I had a very bad fall (stepped on a Dum Dum sucker) and fell on a cement floor. I'm very disappointed by the lack of response from the management of a small but very successful fast food restaurant that opened across from where I live.

What is standard operating procedure in the restaurant business for non-food injuries? There was no accident report made. I asked to speak to the manager and was told that he had to leave for an "emergency" at one of the other stores and was offered a free dinner.

I hadn't heard from him so I stopped in to follow up with him, he was there and said he thought the assistant had "taken care" of it--because she gave me a free dinner!?

Thanks in advance for your input.

  1. i
    Isabella Feb 3, 2009 12:36 AM

    They absolutely should have written up an accident report.
    I'd contact headquarters of this chain & file directly.

    I certainly hope your injuries were not serious.
    If you have incurred medical expenses, make sure to keep receipts.

    1. lifespan Feb 3, 2009 01:43 AM

      That does sound awful...

      1. s
        saacnmama Feb 3, 2009 02:03 AM

        Kate, can we chalk it up to the (young) age of the employee/manager involved, that they didn't realize a fall can be serious?
        If there are medical bills to be dealt with, I would think calmly presenting them their copies and requesting the address of the regional office that will reimburse you would go a long way towards making the situation clear to them.
        If there are no medical bills, then what more do you want, beyond a free meal? How would an accident report help?

        8 Replies
        1. re: saacnmama
          HaagenDazs Feb 3, 2009 05:32 AM

          Accident reports are simply a way to document what happened. It doesn't mean that the person is looking for freebies, but in documenting these types of accidents and sharing them with corporate, it enables everyone in the company to see what can be improved upon. OSHA isn't a joke.

          Next time it might not be a simple slip and fall - it could be an elderly person that slips and slams their head into the counter... then 24 hours later they die at the hospital from pressure on the brain from bleeding. I'm being a little graphic, but I'm not exaggerating, these things happen.

          I'm with the others that corporate should be notified of the incident and your displeasure with the local management's handling of the event. Again, it doesn't mean you're looking for handouts it just means you want them to know about it.

          1. re: HaagenDazs
            Kate is always hungry Feb 3, 2009 07:10 AM

            I have tried to contact corporate and have been stonewalled by them. I wasn't really happy about the "free meal" at the time because I know there is no such thing as a "free lunch."

            HD is right; (without getting into the physics of why stepping on a ball shaped sucker is worse than stepping on a disc shaped sucker) and besides the elderly person in that scenario, if had happened to a near term pregnant woman, the injuries to her baby could have been devastating. By the way, if you are lucky enough to have health insurance, even if they pay the bill upfront, they expect to be reimbursed for injuries caused by a third party.

            From this experience, it's made me wonder if people realize they are entering this place at their own peril.

            1. re: Kate is always hungry
              Axalady Feb 3, 2009 07:25 AM

              Kate, first I am sorry about your fall and hope you're not injured.

              You say "From this experience, it's made me wonder if people realize they are entering this place at their own peril."

              I would say you enter at your own peril wherever you go. A fall can happen anywhere, whether you trip on a rug in a friends home, on a wet floor in a hair salon or on spilled food in a restaurant. Ultimately it's the response of management/corporate that matters.

              I would send a detailed letter , return receipt, to corporate expressing your worries. Past that, if you were not injured I don't know what else you can do, except enjoy the free meal.

              If you are injured, that's what lawyers are for.

              1. re: Axalady
                HaagenDazs Feb 3, 2009 07:37 AM

                I don't think it's a matter of injury or compensation, but how corporate handles safety in the workplace.

                Obviously they are trying to avoid any lawsuits by not replying to Kate, replying and apologizing might be akin to saying they were at fault in the accident, but that's just a guess.

                1. re: Axalady
                  Kate is always hungry Feb 5, 2009 08:54 PM

                  Thanks Axalady. If I weren't injured the free meal would have been a nice gesture. The way I felt after the fall that evening, I hardly touched it. When I can't eat, something is wrong! I'm sending the letter tomorrow.

              2. re: HaagenDazs
                s
                saacnmama Feb 4, 2009 12:46 AM

                OK, from the perspective of preventing future falls I can see your point, but I'm not as optimistic as you that the management would actually change anything (I presume they don't intentionally strew dum-dums on the floor) because of a report.
                I had been thinking of a report as being required to get insurance to pay for medical bills.

                1. re: saacnmama
                  q
                  queencru Feb 4, 2009 04:27 AM

                  The restaurant may already have a decent plan in place to avoid falls. If someone walks around the restaurant in close-set intervals to check for spills/dropped items and cleans up any reported problems in the interim, I think that's all that can reasonably be expected. If at that point, someone drops a lollipop and a minute later someone slips on it, it doesn't make sense to blame the restaurant. The restaurant staff isn't omniscient.

                  1. re: queencru
                    HaagenDazs Feb 4, 2009 06:06 AM

                    I agree with the above 2 posts, but do know that ALL accidents are preventable. The 2 most recent things that come to my mind are the Savannah, GA area sugar refinery blast and the peanut butter situation. They are 2 different and very severe scenarios, but obviously both of them were not adhering to safety rules. By learning about and striving towards an accident free workplace, you become a better company and not only protect your employees but the public as well.

                    http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/02/08/refinery.blast/index.html

                    http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metr...

            2. KaimukiMan Feb 3, 2009 07:22 AM

              Many years ago a friend worked for a fast food national chain restaurant. According to her all employees were carefully trained to "minimize" attention to patrons who suffered accidents. They were to ask if the person needed medical attention and not much else. They were NOT to comp any food, and they were NEVER to apologize. The rationale? In compensating with free food or in making an apology they were admitting to liability for the accident, liability backed by very deep pockets.

              2 Replies
              1. re: KaimukiMan
                b
                beevod Feb 3, 2009 07:25 AM

                A waiter once dropped a cupcake on my foot. Does that count?

                1. re: beevod
                  KaimukiMan Feb 3, 2009 07:45 AM

                  You mean that brand new pair of white suede Manolos? The ones you will never be able to get the pink frosting stain off? You betcha! And an extra pair for emotional distress, after all you were so verklempt that you blew that big interview, cost you hundreds of thousands over the next 5 years in lost income. The least they could do is buy you a couple of pair of shoes, matching handbags perhaps?

              2. w
                WTBD Feb 3, 2009 07:46 AM

                Sorry to hear about your injury. I fell down a narrow flight of stairs in a restaurant on my way to the restroom over 2 years ago and still have the lump on my bum to prove it. My foot just slipped and I went down about 4-6 steps in the middle of the stairwell. It completely winded me and I was in so much pain I didn't really know what to do. Eventually I made it to the loo, took a few deep breaths, and rejoined my husband upstairs. If I hadn't told him about it, no one would have known.

                It never occurred to me to tell the restaurant - I just figured it was bad luck. Practically every restaurant in London has a restroom at the bottom of a perilously narrow stairwell. I iced it for several days until it became apparent that the lump wasn't going anywhere. I never went to the doctor because I doubted they could do anything. Long story short, I was just glad I hadn't hit myself one inch to the left, or I could very well have had a major spinal injury (in which case, thinking about it, I probably would have involved the restaurant.)

                I guess it depends on the severity of the injury. Mine was insignificant enough that I didn't think it needed to be mentioned. But significant enough to have deformed my bum! Hope you get over yours soon...

                2 Replies
                1. re: WTBD
                  HaagenDazs Feb 4, 2009 06:08 AM

                  Frankly your story is a little different. You fell on your own, not because of negligence on the part of the restaurant/venue. Also, what kind of shoes were you wearing?

                  1. re: HaagenDazs
                    w
                    WTBD Feb 4, 2009 08:50 AM

                    Yes and no... I fully agree that I fell on my own, wearing sensible flats and taking my time going down the stairs. It was a complete fluke that my foot slipped and I fell.

                    On the other hand, you say that 'ALL accidents are preventable' - there's not much more that either the restaurant or I could have done to prevent my foot from slipping. If memory serves, I was even using the handrail.

                    Was the restaurant negligent? I don't think so - unless you count having a narrow stairwell as a preventable hazard, which is, at best, a stretch. So no negligence on their part.

                    But I do still have a permanent reminder of the event. Should the restaurant have done something about it? Probably not... but then:

                    How is my experience different from danhole's (see below), except that I didn't get special treatment since no one saw me fall? I'm not complaining - the last thing I wanted was a free meal and I fully recognised that it was my fault. I still wonder, though, what would have happened if I had been seriously injured. I would hope they would do what danhole's resto did, and call an ambulance at the very least...

                    As for Kate, I hope she feels better and gets the compensation she's seeking.

                2. hannaone Feb 3, 2009 07:54 AM

                  Instructions from my insurance company (from my restaurant days) were to ask if there were injuries and call ambulance if needed, ask what happened and record if possible, take pictures, write down what happened with time and date, get witness names and phone numbers. Never apologize, never offer complimentary items, never say or do anything that could in any way be construed as an admission of guilt.

                  1. l
                    lizzy Feb 3, 2009 08:22 AM

                    Quite frankly this surprises me. I had a friend who's child fell on his head in a chain restaurant. Employees wanted her to stay to fill out an accident report, and she wanted to take her child to the hospital. Luckily her mother was with her and was able to stay and fill out the report. My perception of chain restaurants is every possible scenario is scripted so I agree with others who said they were taught to provide minimal assistance.

                    I hope you were not injured, but I am not really sure what else you want from the restaurant or corporate. It's unfortunate that we live in a litigious society, but beyond the free dinner I am not sure you will get much more than that. If it bothers you that much, I would suggest looking into what you can do through your local government.

                    1. danhole Feb 3, 2009 09:00 AM

                      I had an experience in a restaurant that is totally opposite to yours. It was Valentines day, close to closing time, in a Mexican place that is part of a chain. Not a romantic dinner, just a meal. I got up, and my foot just didn't respond at all. I tapped it an the floor, thought it would be okay, and took a step. Down I went, face first. God, I was so embarrassed! Immediately I was surrounded by the manager and 2 other people. They took all the information, asked if I needed an ambulance, was I okay, could they help me to the car, and so on. I kept apologizing, telling them it wasn't their fault, and I would be fine. My DH helped me out. The next day they called to check on me, and the day after that as well. Then they sent a certificate for money off a future meal, and yet it had nothing to do with them. I thought that was amazing and made me like that place even more.

                      1. Caralien Feb 3, 2009 09:01 AM

                        I've generally noticed that the staff would take notice of this (and put this into the daily report at the places I've worked). It's the manager's responsibility to make sure that the environment is as accident-prone free as possible. Including the ramp and walkways (ice included).

                        If the injury needed medical care, the place in question would be held accountable.

                        The free dinner was likely to make sure that your experience wouldn't prevent you from returning, although the manager seemed rather aloof and should have (minimally) asked whether you were okay.

                        1. r
                          RosemaryHoney Feb 3, 2009 09:21 AM

                          I think restaurants try to minimize their involvement at the time of the injury so that they are less likely to lose an absurd lawsuit - not to say that you would have filed a lawsuit, or that it would have been absurd. But there are a lot of people (and lawyers who will urge people) who will sue for millions for something that really is accidental, and probably couldn't have been prevented with a law or regulation or workplace policy (i.e.: "Please pick up all Dum Dums immediately").

                          A few years ago, my 70+ yr old grandmother got 2nd and 3rd degree burns on her shoulder, back, and arm when the lid of a coffee pot came off as the waitress was pouring. The restaurant completely stonewalled her until she found a lawyer who was willing to sue for just her medical costs and a small amount ($1000) for pain and suffering (she had numerous other lawyers insist that she should sue for upwards of $1million, which is the ABSURD part I'm talking about).

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: RosemaryHoney
                            Kate is always hungry Feb 3, 2009 11:03 PM

                            Exactly. I only want their premises liability information. I don't want to get a lawyer, although I certainly have nothing against lawyers. I am injured; I'm feeling worse and all I want is to file a claim and be compensated for medical treatment. I don't want a million dollars from them.

                            Sorry if I sound cranky, but I appreciate all your replies. Thanks, Kate.

                            1. re: Kate is always hungry
                              lynnlato Feb 4, 2009 05:12 AM

                              They are under no obligation to give you their liability insurance carrier information. They can settle the "claim" themself if they so chose. This little song and dance is why so many injured folks eventually get a plaintiff's attorney. It's really quite foolish, on the part of the restaurant, to not cooperate though. These insurance policies typically have a "Medical Payments to Others" coverage that will pay medical bills of others (not employees, owners, etc) injured on their property regardless of liability. In other words, it would cover your medical bills (typcially up to $5,000) just because you were injured on their property. I was a multi-line claims adjuster in a previous life and handled many claims similiar to yours.

                              I think its foolish for any business to pretend like an accident didn't occur. You only piss off the injured party who will then sue you for not only out of pocket expenses, but pain and suffering too. A little empathy and a good understanding of insurance coverages goes a long way.

                              Kate, if you don't want to hire attorney (i wouldn't either - they'll just take 30% of whatever you get) just write a letter to the restaurant GM advising that you were injured on their premises on said date (don't give too much detail). Formally request the name and contact information for their insurance agent/carrier. Advise that their failure to respond will result in legal action. Include copies of your medical bills to date. Give them 30 days to respond and follow-up with a phone call a couple of weeks afterwards to see if they've forwarded it to their carrier.

                              I hope you're feeling better.

                              1. re: lynnlato
                                Kate is always hungry Feb 5, 2009 08:17 PM

                                Thanks Lynnlato!

                                "Medical Payments to Others" that's what I need. I'm a little more familiar with auto accident coverage. I will write my letter now. Thanks again.

                                Kate

                          2. f
                            fourunder Feb 3, 2009 09:35 AM

                            Many years ago when I was in my youth, I was at a chain restaurant restaurant for a Monday Night Football promotion that featured free food during halftime. Now this was in the colder winter months and I remember I had a quilted Flannel Shirt on over probably a thermal shirt as well. Into the evening, a worker while clearing the chafing pans accidentally tripped and the hot water from the pan poured down my backside, inside my jeans and under my belt-line. I immediately jumped up and went to the mens room to douse cold water and put a cold compress on it while another friend went to get some ice. After gaining composure, I immediately sought out the manager....basically he responded in the same minimized attention mentioned by others....but I vehemently told him I wanted an accident report taken in case I needed to go to the Emergency Room later for treatment to relieve the pain. The wound was just red at the time, but later in the mid morning of night, the would developed into blisters. I never went for treatment and the blisters pooped.....it was very uncomfortable for about a month and the scars stayed on my backside for at least ten years, but I did not pursue any legal action....which in retrospect, I should have. I do remember the restaurants insurance company did contact me with a confirmation of the report and forms to fill out, but again, I did not pursue the incident.

                            How did the manager handle the situation that night?.......He offered me a free Sambuca.

                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                            Kate,

                            If the manager or the restaurant still does not act fast enough to your concern.....tell them and do follow up by saying you will contact the local police to document the incident and make sure any witnesses you have are also included in the report with their contact information.

                            16 Replies
                            1. re: fourunder
                              lynnlato Feb 4, 2009 05:14 AM

                              The police handle criminal matters - this is a civil matter and there is nothing the police can or will do to help her.

                              1. re: lynnlato
                                f
                                fourunder Feb 4, 2009 06:54 AM

                                Lynnlato,

                                On this occasion I will have to disagree with you. The police will not be able to become involved in the civil matter, which happens only if a lawsuit is filed, however they can take the report to document the incident, and the information on the report is what is needed for the civil matter to go forward. Here in the Northeast, where at the moment there is plenty of snow on the ground, business owners are required by law to keep their sidewalk free of snow and ice, usually within 24 hours of the snowfall stopping. A person comes along....slips and falls and in the process injures themselves.....the store or property owner may not be available....would you just walk away or leave.....the process to protect yourself would be to call the local police to document the incident on an official report noting the injuries and conditions that may or may not have caused them, or more severely, call for an ambulance to attend to your wounds.....Yes you could choose not to do so, but in my opinion, you would have a difficult time to prove your position to anyone without the report.

                                Would you really trust a person or manager from a restaurant (in this case) who claimed he had another emergency more important than your injury and offed you the simple compensation of a free dinner....or would you rather take the necessary steps on your own to protect your future interests?

                                1. re: fourunder
                                  lynnlato Feb 4, 2009 08:43 AM

                                  you can disagree, but I am certain that police will not respond to this matter. In fact, I'm originally from PA and the hypothetical you gave happened to me personally. I slipped and fell on ice in front of a hotel. An ambulance was summoned, I spent 3 days in the hospital, had two surgeries, 8 screws and a plate in my ankle, and incurred many, many medical bills. At no time did the police respond because it was not a criminal matter. Yes, there are municipal ordinances that require businesses to keep their sidewalks maintained but someone injured as a result of a failure to comply w/ a local ordinance again, is not a criminal matter.

                                  The police will not take an incident report, sorry.

                                  1. re: lynnlato
                                    f
                                    fourunder Feb 4, 2009 02:34 PM

                                    You must live in tough neighborhood:)

                                    I can tell you as a restaurant owner in New Jersey, any time an accident takes place, I call the the local police to respond and take an official report. and they do arrive promptly. I can also tell you, when you dial 911 for any medical emergency, a police officer will respond before an ambulance arrives and will assist in any way necessary....as there are many more police available an always somewhere about town. That's the way it is around here. .....maybe having so many lawyers in the area has something to do with it....but again, if you summon the police for anything, they must respond and file a report if you request it....and they are required record their actions once the call has been placed for assistance. I would further add, even if they know you are lying, they would still have to take the report and document the matter....but they have the option of filing and charging you with a false police report later, if it can be proven.

                                    1. re: fourunder
                                      lynnlato Feb 4, 2009 03:23 PM

                                      I live in the Charlotte suburbs - this is Mayberry compared to Jersey - ha!

                                      Okay, well first of all, laws differ from state to state, however, I'm certain that police handle criminal matters - not civil matters. If no crime is alleged to have been committed they are not REQUIRED to respond. If they do respond, it's either b/c of some misunderstanding (caller maybe hinted to a criminal matter, etc) or as a courtesy. You can debate this with me until the cows come home but you're misinformed, friend. Call your local department and inquire. PEACE! :)

                                      1. re: lynnlato
                                        f
                                        fourunder Feb 4, 2009 03:41 PM

                                        Question....

                                        If there is an accident in the street between two cars, do the police respond? How will they know if it is a medical, civil or criminal matter until they respond and investigate? Or how about this exchange..... Hello police, I need your help....what's the problem" I fell down and hurt myself, and now I can't get up...sorry we don't handle that?. If this were the case, thank god for lawyers..........Using the car accident hypothetical as an example, it only becomes criminal if one of the parties engaged in the accident was DUI or on the suspension list...or not licensed to drive....are you telling me with a situation with possible injuries, with civil litigation to follow the police will not respond to control the scene and investigate and file the necessary reports for the insurance companies?

                                        You should move to a place where your taxes are better spent where your safety and well being are concerned. As I said, the police respond here in Jersey... not misinformed an no need to call, as I can count on it from previous experience.....and PEACE to you too:)

                                        1. re: fourunder
                                          lynnlato Feb 5, 2009 04:02 AM

                                          Car accidents are typically the result of violations (i.e. speeding, failure to stop, etc). They don't respond to folks that slipped on a dum-dum two weeks prior and you're just now getting around to calling - ha!

                                          Sounds like the police in your little town are jacks of all trades... maybe supplementing a shortage of EMTs & other first responders? I don't know. I'm over the moon for you that your small town system works for you. I'm just trying to explain to you that police are not slip and fall investigators. Have you not heard, "Only call 911 for REAL emergencies?"

                                          Anyway, you've given me a good laugh and for that I am grateful.

                                          1. re: lynnlato
                                            f
                                            fourunder Feb 5, 2009 04:27 AM

                                            lynnlato,

                                            Your disingenuous comments are the real laugh:).........I always enjoy a spirited debate when the other party only likes to bring to light what fits her argument and ignores the others. Yes 911 is for emergencies...but the police departments around here also have a direct lines in my po-dunk towns of operation.....911 is handled by the County, which is in the case is ranked the 18th in highest income in the country....I have only called 911 after witnessing a traffic accident or noticing debris on the Interstate Highway.....would you consider that an acceptable emergency?

                                            BTW, the only thing you have explained to me is how it works in your area, not mine.

                                            1. re: fourunder
                                              lynnlato Feb 5, 2009 05:19 AM

                                              So, let me get this straight.... you'd call the cops to report you slipped on a dum-dum and fell several days after it actually happened?

                                              My side is resting. It's been fun. Ciao!

                                              1. re: lynnlato
                                                f
                                                fourunder Feb 5, 2009 06:00 AM

                                                I'll go on the record with based exactly with what the OP stated in her original query.
                                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                                I had a very bad fall (stepped on a Dum Dum sucker) and fell on a cement floor. I'm very disappointed by the lack of response from the management of a small but very successful fast food restaurant that opened across from where I live

                                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                                If I were genuinely hurt in the fall, experienced pain days later and believed it was a result of the fall in the restaurant or fast food operation days earlier...was not satisfied with the response and attention to the matter from the management or ownership.... felt I needed to have treatment for my injury or pain from a medical professional.....yes I would call the police to take an incident report after the fact. The police report would show who I made my original notification to after falling and also the response(or lack of response) by the manager that evening and his supposed disappearance to another unit....
                                                ~~~~~~~~~~

                                                I hadn't heard from him so I stopped in to follow up with him, he was there and said he thought the assistant had "taken care" of it--because she gave me a free dinner!?

                                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                                Hopefully, the manager of the location would then follow up with a proper incident report, which he should have done in the beginning. Regardless of fault, if the injury is legitimate(which I have no reason to doubt with Kate), the mishap happened, and the restaurant has an obligation to deal with it properly.

                                                Whether it was a dum-dum, a banana peel or a coin.....it was on the floor and should not have been there. As painfully unfair it may seem...It was an accident and that is what insurance is for.

                                                1. re: lynnlato
                                                  NellyNel Feb 5, 2009 09:40 AM

                                                  Lynn - I live in New Jersey and I am with you!

                                                  I can't imagine cops responding to a civil matter.
                                                  Yes, of course they would respond to the accident itself, but certainly NOT after the fact.
                                                  That's just crazy forunder!

                                          2. re: lynnlato
                                            m
                                            mpjmph Feb 5, 2009 06:19 AM

                                            I'm also in NC, in Carrboro. Our system is similar to what fourunder described - if you call 911 for anything, criminal or not, the police respond as a matter of public safety. In a case such as this, with an accident at a restaurant or any business that resulted in injury the police will respond and file a report is the person injured or the restaurant owners call. It is not as a courtesy or b/c of misunderstanding, it is part of local policy.

                                        2. re: lynnlato
                                          i
                                          ickymettle Feb 5, 2009 09:10 AM

                                          Lynnlato is correct about the police . As a lawyer who formerly handled civil matters (including a case with a similar scenario, as I defended a property manager who was sued by woman who tripped and fell outside of a restaurant on the property) and now handles criminal matters, I can honestly say if the police were called for such a matter, they would ask, in somewhat of a nasty manner, "What are we supposed to do about it?" Police show up at vehicle accidents because they need to determine whether traffic laws were violated and ensure the safety of others on the road, but investigating slip-and-falls is not within the scope of their duties, and I can unequivocally say they would not get involved.

                                          1. re: ickymettle
                                            f
                                            fourunder Feb 5, 2009 08:04 PM

                                            For NellyNel, lynnlato and ickymettle,

                                            Insurance adjusters not wanting information recorded?......A defense attorney not wanting factual information compiled...why am I not surprised? You three seem to bent up on whether the police should *investigate* a civil matter. We all know they are not supposed to. What they are supposed to do is serve the public when called and report the incident. The following link provides recommendations on personal injury from a law firm that practices in New Jersey. The information speaks for itself., but pay attention to the two sections:

                                            1. What is "personal injury"?
                                            2. What shoud I/You do first?

                                            http://www.minfirm.com/personalinjury.asp

                                            The following link provides information regarding the statute of limitations for personal injury in the State of New Jersey, which is two years.

                                            http://www.statutes-of-limitations.co...

                                            You can file a police report at any time...however, the statute of limitations may run out depending on the incident for any recourse.

                                            icky, I can unequivocally say I am glad you are not my lawyer. :-)

                                            1. re: fourunder
                                              q
                                              queencru Feb 6, 2009 04:49 AM

                                              Of course the insurance company wants the information recorded, but the police are not necessarily the right person to do it. As others have mentioned, it's within the scope of the police's duties to protect the safety of the roads and enforce traffic laws.

                                              Even if the police could really be of any use in a slip/fall situation, a restaurant is a place of business that will typically not stop everything it's doing for a slip and fall accident. The scene will probably be cleaned up and all the witnesses will have gone home. Presumably the restaurant should document the incident. In this case, they did not do so and Kate is attempting to address it with the management.

                                      2. re: lynnlato
                                        Kate is always hungry Feb 5, 2009 08:09 PM

                                        Actually, while I was eating my "free" dinner, a police officer came in and sat at the next table. It didn't even occur to me to mention it to him. I did ask my dinner companion whether, if the cop saw it if he would have asked me if I was okay.

                                    2. j
                                      jeanmarieok Feb 4, 2009 05:03 AM

                                      When I was a college student, I attended the wedding of a close friend. My boyfriend (now husband) was in the wedding party, and I was the designated driver for the evening. When the bouquet/garter throwing was about to take place, I was walking quickly to grab my camera off of the table, and slipped on a spilled beverage. Aside from the embarrassment, I knew my arm was broken almost immediately. No one from the restaurant ever asked if I was ok, except to offer ice. I stayed for the rest of the evening, dropped my boyfriend and his friends off at home, and took myself to the emergency room.

                                      At an event at the bride's parents home the next day, I was approached by a family friend who happened to be a lawyer. I was young and didn't really know any better, so I allowed him to sue the restaurant for negligance. The restaurant tried to claim I was drunk (not even close, I only had champagne for the toast), wild (ha - my husband wishes) and never told them I was injured (total lie - one of the bartenders brought me ice, unasked). In the end, I got a settlement of $10,000, and the only time it took me was signing my name about 6 times. At the time (age 18), I was pretty excited about the whole thing. A few years later, though, I started feeling dirty about it all.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: jeanmarieok
                                        Sam Fujisaka Feb 5, 2009 06:55 AM

                                        jean marie you're ok!

                                      2. im_nomad Feb 4, 2009 05:23 AM

                                        Just this past summer while travelling with my parents, my 69 year old mother had a bad fall from a step up booth in a poorly lit restaurant. Unfortunatly she had also had a fall about a week or so before, and was just recovering. She lost her footing leaving the booth and went flat out in the middle of the floor on the restaurant. Myself and my father got to her first, and eventually someone I can only assume to be the manager came over eventually to help her get up (she had lain there a few minutes to get her composure and footing first), but that's it. He disappeared as soon as she was up, and no apology. The booth was supposed to have been lit from underneath the step, but they had neglected to turn this on, so yes, I would say it was their fault. It was "oops look, we forgot to turn on the underlighting"

                                        I was really taken aback at how the restaurant responded, it was just like, oh well, lets carry on now and get you to pay your bill shall we ? The waitress was no where to be seen (they were all parked over by the bar), and sort of joked with us on our way out. This was not a chain or a cheap-o place either, and the restaurant wasn't even quarter full at the time.

                                        After the shock wore off, I felt really angry when we got home. Thankfully my mother just had a few bruises and was stiff and sore, but it put a damper on our weekend away. I couldn't believe that they let a woman her age just lay there on the floor and didn't do a bit more damage control, if for no other reason than to suck up to avoid potential lawsuits !! (we are not the kind of people to launch frivolous lawsuits...but for all they knew, we were)

                                        As for me.....I face planted on the stairs of a bar once...but that was sort of my fault......along with the person who gave me a "special drink" with something extra in it :|

                                        1. o
                                          ola Feb 4, 2009 06:25 AM

                                          When my son was three, we were having lunch when a waitress shook a bottle of steak sauce without making sure the top was secure. The sauce went all over my son's face and into his eyes. He was howling and all the waitress thought to say was "Would he like a sticker?"

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: ola
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                                            saacnmama Feb 5, 2009 06:42 PM

                                            reminds me of when I was little, a few decades ago, and the waitress somehow spilled salad (with dressing) on me. I don't know why no one thought of using the bathroom sink, but somehow it was decided that the restaurant folk should somehow clean me up. I really don't remember any details other than the part I thought was extremely cool--I got to walk right through the kitchen!

                                          2. JohnE O Feb 4, 2009 06:37 AM

                                            I've got 22 years working as an insurance claims adjuster/manager. If you have medical bills, submit them to the restaurant as the medical payments coverage applies regardless of liability. As for negligence, that's a different matter. You would need to show that the offending item was present for a long enough period of time that the restaurant should have known about it and should have done something about it. They would not be negligent if, for example, someone had just dropped it a minute before you fell.

                                            Accident reports are more to help in loss control and to help in investigating the matter post loss. If you are going to get treatment for your injuries you would most definitely want to tell the manager so that they can inform their agent/insurance carrier.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: JohnE O
                                              lynnlato Feb 5, 2009 04:12 AM

                                              Well said, John. That's what I said several posts above, although not as succinctly as you. I've been out of the claims adjuster biz for several years now though. :)

                                              1. re: JohnE O
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                                                saacnmama Feb 5, 2009 06:43 PM

                                                How do you prove how long a sucker was on the floor?
                                                If you saw it before you stepped on it, shouldn't you have just avoided it in the first place?

                                                1. re: saacnmama
                                                  Kate is always hungry Feb 5, 2009 07:59 PM

                                                  The restaurant has a very sophisticated surveillance system with a camera pointed in the direction where I fell, so I would think they could view the tape and see what happened. What I didn't mention in my earlier posts was that when I went to see the manager, he told me he looked at the tape and didn't see me fall! Beside that, the reason for the suckers, is to make kids happy. So it was probably dropped by a child too young to appreciate that it should be picked up. There was no child there when I fell. The only person sitting in the area where I fell was a middle aged man. So, the inference I made is that the sucker had been there for a while. Of course, had I seen the sucker, I would have picked it up so someone else wouldn't have stepped on it.

                                                  Barring erasing of the tape by management, the length of time the sucker was on the floor and my fall should be recorded.

                                                  1. re: Kate is always hungry
                                                    lynnlato Feb 6, 2009 03:41 AM

                                                    Hey Kate, FYI, for the Medical Payments to Others coverage, the only thing you need to substantiate is that you were injured on their property - the medical payments coverage pays REGARDLESS of liability. So, you shouldn't have a problem getting your medical bills covered (generally speaking).

                                              2. BrookBoy Feb 5, 2009 04:29 AM

                                                A number of years ago my wife and I stopped in a Ground Round for a quick lunch. We were on our way to the North Shore Animal League to adopt a couple of cats, and the drive took about an hour (we live in Brooklyn), so we decided to stop before going to the shelter.

                                                At the end of the meal Maureen went off to use the ladies room while I took care of the check. After a little while she came back to meet me at the cash register and I could see something was wrong. She was pale and a little shaky. She said she slipped on the wet floor in the ladies room and hurt her arm, and I could see that her wrist was bent unnaturally. I thought she was about to go into shock. The hostess said something along the lines of, "we shouldn't leave that floor wet like that...", a phrase that stuck in both our minds.

                                                I asked where we could go to see about my wife's injuries, and they told us there was a hospital a few miles away, so that's where we went. The ER nurse reset my wife's dislocated thumb (very, very painful), and called the orthopedic surgeon who was on call. We hung around in the waiting room for about two hours until he arrived.

                                                After he did his examinations, he told us she would have to be admitted and have an operation as well as several more tests. Ultimately she had the operation and spent two nights in the hospital. She was discharged with four metal spikes coming out of her arm, leaving her without the use of her arm for about 8 weeks, as I recall. She went to Long Island College Hospital to have the spikes removed when it was time, and they strapped her down and pulled the spikes out, an extremely painful procedure.

                                                So our trip to adopt a couple of cats had turned into a real horror show.

                                                Her wrist never fully recovered and she lost some of the use of her arm permanently. She can also tell when a storm is coming more accurately than any weatherman.

                                                As it happened, she worked for a law firm, and we spoke to one of the attorneys who took personal injury cases. We brought suit against Ground Round, who stonewalled and denied that their employee ever uttered that phrase about the wet floors, and that suit went on for about five years. We gave depositions but never appeared in court. The restaurant finally made us an offer that we decided to take just to end the process.

                                                My advice to you would be to consult an attorney and have the attorney contact the restaurant. I am absolutely certain that this will get their attention. You can make up your mind how you want to proceed after the restaurant responds to your attorney.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: BrookBoy
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                                                  Cachetes Feb 6, 2009 05:15 AM

                                                  That sounds horrific! Your wife must be a pretty tough person to have withstood that pain and walked out on her own.

                                                2. krisrishere Feb 6, 2009 08:14 AM

                                                  I was at a very popular restaurant in CT and my party was seated with our back towards the waitress station. As we were paying our check, a waitress dropped a tray full of glasses and broke them all. No big deal. When we get out of the restaurant and arrive back at our friends house, I stepped into the living room and was met with this horrible pain in my butt. I called my husband into the bathroom and it turns out a piece of the broken glass had gone down my pants. I literally had a piece of glass about 1/4" long half way into my butt cheek. My poor husband had the awful job of pulling it out. It was very late in the evening, so we couldn't call the restaurant. I contemplated calling the next day, but because the actually injury happened after we left, they probably wouldn't have been able to do anything about it.

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