When it comes to a customer’s safety in restaurants and bars, Georgia law requires premises owners to put safety first. If an injury does occur while a customer is on the property, he or she may be entitled to compensation. A bar or restaurant may have to pay for the physical, emotional, and financial consequences of their negligence. The attorneys of Schneider Hammers have experience with premises liability law and how it applies to these businesses.
There are reasonable steps that property owners can and should take to keep their bars and restaurants free of hazards. In order to reduce the likelihood of a premises liability claim, owners should inspect their premises. They should look for and be aware of any dangerous conditions that may harm patrons. As quickly as possible, these conditions should be remedied and the public steered clear of them.
Every restaurant and bar experiences common issues that can potentially affect customer safety. All owners should take these seriously to keep their premises free of dangerous situations. Typical conditions that can cause injury if left unchecked include:
- Poor lighting, either inside the bar or restaurant, leading to it, or in the parking lot
- Broken or uneven stairs on the premises
- Fires, explosions, or other problems associated with open flames and electrical systems
- Falling objects
- Uneven or damaged walkways
- Malfunctioning elevators
- Poor maintenance
These are a few of the most prominent problems, but definitely not all of them. Every business has its own issues of which the owners should be aware.
When a patron is hurt and a premises liability claim is filed, there are four elements which the court examines. The plaintiff will need to prove these to be awarded compensation for his or her injuries. Those elements are as follows:
- There must actually have been a dangerous condition present. An example of this could be a slippery floor due to a spilled drink or food.
- The property owner must have known, or should have known, about this dangerous condition. This element reflects the duty that the owner has to make regular inspections and fix any dangerous conditions. This duty covers conditions that a reasonable business owner, with due diligence, would have known about. The business can be held liable even if it was not actually aware of the situation.
- The property owner did not fix the situation. This means it failed to clean up a slippery floor or repair the dangerous condition. Again, this obligation covers dangerous conditions the owner did not actually know about, if it should have known about it.
- Finally, the accident victim will have to prove that the hazard caused his or her injury. This injury must have been a direct and foreseeable result of the hazardous condition.
Negligently failing to take care of dangerous situations is a primary cause of liability claims. However, not all problems involve physical conditions on the property. Bars and restaurants have the added factor of alcohol that is part of the vibrant nightlife they wish to foster. Fights among patrons can break out which can cause serious injuries. Bars and restaurants may negligently serve alcohol to minors or noticeably intoxicated individuals. These are some of the most serious risks for a bar or restaurant owner to have to handle. But they do have that obligation. The business cannot claim it was unaware of how much alcohol it was serving or how much someone drank. Bar tab receipts and other evidence can be produced.
IF YOU’VE BEEN HURT AT A BAR OR RESTAURANT, LET OUR ATTORNEYS HELP
Everyone wants to have fun at a bar or restaurant, and they expect the premises to be safe. When owners do not address dangerous conditions, or serve too much alcohol, people can be hurt. Victims of negligent bar and restaurant owners may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. At Schneider Hammers, we have experience in all aspects of premises liability law. Let our team go to work for you.