Burger King has over 7,000 locations in more than 3,200 cities spanning all 50 states, and as a fast-food restaurant, Burger King serves millions of people annually. With so much foot traffic and so many employees, accidents are bound to happen. You should keep in mind that not all accidents are the result of negligence and not all result in injury. However, if you suffered an injury from a slip and fall accident at Burger King, you may have a chance to recover compensation for the losses you incurred.
How Do Slip and Fall Accidents Happen at Burger King?
If you consider the vast number of customers that enter and exit a Burger King daily, especially during peak hours, you can imagine how food and drinks end up on the floor. Employees are sometimes too busy to notice. Sometimes they cannot get away from the crowded counters to clean it up, and sometimes they just neglect it. Spills left in high-traffic areas are a danger to customers.
Here are some other potential safety hazards you may find in a Burger King:
- Spilled grease or cooking oil
- Mopping without using a wet floor sign
- Poor or damaged lighting in areas away from natural light
- Damaged tiles or uneven flooring
- Torn or worn rugs
- Wet floors at the entrance caused by customers tracking in snow, rain, hail, or sleet
- Poorly maintained outdoor areas, such as parking lots and walkways
- Leaking equipment, including toilets and sinks in the bathroom
- Items left on the floors
Connecticut, like all New England states, receives heavy snowfall in the winter season. Independent Burger King restaurant owners have a responsibility to maintain a clear parking lot and outdoor area, but during ongoing storms, the law allows them more time to clear the area, starting when the storm passes.
All types of dining establishments have a duty of care to customers that require them to uphold reasonable safety standards. When employees or management fail to do so, accidents often happen, and the restaurant is liable.
Potential Injuries From a Slip and Fall at Burger King
Injuries from a slip and fall accident may range from mild to severe, and seniors are disproportionately more at risk than any other demographic. Some common injuries from slips and falls include:
- Bruises and contusions
- Superficial and deep lacerations
- Head injuries ranging from a mild concussion to a traumatic brain injury, such as a hemorrhage
- Broken bones, usually in the hips, wrists, hands, ankles, and feet
- Knee damages, such as torn ligaments
- Dislocated shoulder
- Nerve damage
- Spinal or back injury, such as broken vertebrae or herniated discs
- Sprained or strained muscles
People sometimes have medical conditions that contribute to the severity of the injury. However, the eggshell plaintiff theory recognizes that victims of slip and fall accidents caused by someone’s negligence are still entitled to pursue a personal injury claim even if they have a preexisting condition.
What Should You Do After a Slip and Fall Accident?
You never expect to slip and fall when walking through a Burger King. However, there are a few steps you should take in the aftermath that could protect your health and your potential lawsuit. In the event of a slip and fall accident, you should:
- Remain still and check yourself for injuries. The most important thing is your personal health. Immediate and sudden movement following an accident may exacerbate injuries. Take your time and check for signs of injury, such as any pains caused by small movements. If you notice pain in your back or neck, remain in place until emergency services arrive.
- Alert someone about your accident. If you are too hurt to get up, call out for help or ask someone near you to alert the manager on duty about your accident. The manager should document the occurrence with an accident report.
- Document everything and gather evidence. If you are well enough, start documenting the scene of the accident. Take photographs of the area, including your injuries and whatever caused your fall. Collect the names and contact information of any witnesses, and ask for a copy of the accident report. Request surveillance footage if there is any.
- See a medical professional. Even if you feel fine, you should still see a doctor. You can go to the emergency room or urgent care, or you can make an appointment with your primary care physician. Medical records serve as strong evidence for your injury.
- Contact a personal injury attorney. If you know that the accident and your injuries were the results of negligence or have questions about it, contact an attorney to figure out how to recover compensation for your losses.
Proving fault in a slip and fall case is sometimes difficult, but if you can, the property owner’s insurance provider will have to cover the damages.
What Is a Burger King Slip and Fall Claim Worth?
The value of your claim is based on the damages incurred. All personal injury cases have the potential to recover compensatory and punitive damages. Recovery of compensatory damages is meant to make the injured person whole again. Compensatory damages from a slip and fall case may include:
- Economic, or specific, damages: current and future costs of medical treatments, past and future loss of income, property damage, and any other out-of-pocket expenses related to your injury
- Non-economic, or general, damages: pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, and permanent scarring or disfigurement
Calculating specific damages is fairly easy. You just need your medical bills, estimates for future medical treatment, pay stubs, recent tax returns, and receipts for any other related expenses. General damages have no inherent monetary value and are more difficult to quantify. A slip and fall accident attorney would likely refer to precedent to add value to this part of the claim.
Punitive damages do not compensate for any physical or mental injury. They are designed to punish the defendant for particularly egregious behavior. Considering the nature of a slip and fall accident, punitive damages are very rarely awarded.
How Liability and Shared Fault Affect Your Claim
In a slip and fall lawsuit, the rule of comparative negligence determines your eligibility for compensation and subsequently, how much you can receive. Comparative negligence states that the percentage of fault you bear for your accident reflects the percentage deducted from the awarded value of damages.
The two types of comparative negligence are pure and modified comparative negligence. Connecticut follows the rule of modified comparative negligence. This means that if you bear more than 50% responsibility for the accident you are not eligible for compensation through a lawsuit. For example, if the jury awards you $20,000 and finds you 10% at fault, you receive $18,000, but if you are found 51% at fault, you receive nothing.
Why Should You Hire a Slip and Fall Injury Attorney?
Proving liability in a slip and fall case is sometimes difficult. The attorneys at Gould Injury Law have handled hundreds of personal injury cases and represent clients with passion and a sense of urgency. Our team has the experience necessary to help you receive fast and fair compensation to protect you from the financial burden of a slip and fall accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.
If you suffered injuries due to a slip and fall at any of the following commercial establishments, our personal injury attorneys could help with your case:
- Basking Robbins
- Bath & Body Works
- Bed, Bath and Beyond
- Big Lots
- Burlington Coat Factory
- Dollar General
- Dollar Tree
- Duane Reade/Walgreens