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When we go out to eat or shop or play, we don't expect to pay with a personal injury. But in fact that happens more often than we might care to consider.
There are many ways that people get hurt when they are out and about. If you happen to get hurt on the premises of a business, you can sue for your injury and will succeed if you can show negligence. Let's take a look at some common claims that arise out of our engagements with the business community.
Restaurants and all other businesses owe their customers a duty of care. They breach that duty when they cause harm to customers. The harm must be the direct result of negligence, not an unforeseeable fluke, but if you can prove that you were injured due to the failure to maintain the standards of a reasonable business, you can recover for your injury.
You love going out to eat on the weekends and consider it a small vacation from your routine. But when your dream meal turns into a nightmare, you're extremely displeased by the disruption. Food poisoning is one reason that businesses get sued, although recovery for injury is only likely if you experience more than just some unpleasantness.
Restaurants also get sued for negligence if a meal causes injury based on poor preparation. Choked on a fishbone and somehow end up in throat surgery? You are a prime plaintiff in a personal injury suit. As in any other negligence case, you will have to prove that the restaurant breached its duty of care to you, thereby causing you harm.
There are many ways to get hurt when shopping. People slip, trip, and fall in stores. If a store's displays are not safe or its aisles not clear for passage, or there are spills on the floor that go ignored, and someone get hurt, the business can be found liable. Business owners have a duty to maintain the safety of their premises, both indoors and outdoors, and failure to do so often results in personal injury suits.
If you are hurt at the gym or during a sporting activity, you may also be able to sue. The issue will be whether you assumed certain risks -- for example, if you signed a release before skydiving -- and, as ever, whether there was any negligence.
When you drop a set of barbells on your foot and break all your toes, that is probably not due to the gym's negligence. But if a set of weights somehow falls on you from a great height, or a machine malfunctions, or you slip on wet floors, your negligence case may indeed succeed.
Talk to a Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been injured, speak to a local lawyer. Many personal injury attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to assess your case.