When Are Restaurants Liable for Accidents, Injuries and Illnesses?

Home » Blog » When Are Restaurants Liable for Accidents, Injuries and Illnesses?

When Are Restaurants Liable for Accidents, Injuries and Illnesses?
Restaurants, like any job site, may be dangerous places for both workers and the customers who dine there. There are a number of accidents and mistakes that can happen, bringing about injury and possible legal issues for restaurant owners.

Many instances that can cause injury or illness can be prevented, but they can also be covered by solid insurance packages. Let’s look at how and when restaurants can be held liable for certain accidents.

Preventing Accidents

From broken plates to burning your arm on a grill to food being spilled on customers inside the restaurant, there are a number of accidents that can cause injury. And since some people have sensitivity to foods and how they’re prepared, there can be foodborne illnesses that befall dining guests.

With this in mind, caution should be utilized to stay away from potential hazards and prevent injury to customers and employees. Restaurant owners and managers should put in place strict guidelines and make sure they’re followed to prevent mistakes. Taking precautions can help restaurants avoid costly litigation or liabilities.


Floor areas should be clean and clear in the restaurant to avoid spills or customer accidents. It’s important to place signage related to potential accidents before anyone is harmed. Keep clutter away and make sure there are no objects in the way that could trip anyone, especially servers with food.

Lighting should be sufficient in all parts of a restaurant, helping to keep everything visible. This can help keep objects in sight and lower levels and steps visible too. If need be, set up additional lighting that can help prevent accidents.

Back in the kitchen and food prep area, burns are always a risk and employees face possible harm. Scalding food and services leave burns on contact with skin, and hot liquids can lead to long-term damage. Besides worrying about being burned, food can also give illnesses if it is not prepared properly. All food prep should follow certain standards of safety to avoid food poisoning, and, in turn, legal issues.

Customer Injuries

Customers who are injured at your restaurant for any number of reasons can indeed turn around and sue you. They may pursue this with the help of a personal injury lawsuit against the owner of a restaurant because of negligence.

Restaurant owners may have a legal duty to properly inspect the premises of their location to look for potential hazards and warn customers of these hazards. When customers sustain injuries or develop an illness after visiting a restaurant they can litigate for medical expenses, lost earnings, pain, emotional distress and other damages.

Restaurant Insurance

While all hazards and mistakes can’t be avoided, the best way to protect yourself in times of legal issues is to invest in restaurant liability insurance. This protective measure provides restaurant owners peace of mind when it comes to the overall integrity of their establishment.

About Shields Insurance Agency

Shields Insurance Agency is an independent insurance agency located in Birmingham, Alabama that provides insurance coverage to local businesses and families throughout the southeastern United States. As an independent agency, we will shop your coverage with numerous top-rated insurers, virtually guaranteeing you get the most competitive rates available with broad coverage terms. For more information on our products and services, contact us today at (205) – 783-5893 to speak with one of our professionals.

Posted on
© Bry Shields III, CLCS, CIC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. | Privacy Policy
Website by SERVRON