Can I claim compensation for slipping on a wet floor in a fast food restaurant and breaking my ankle if the floor was wet because it had been raining? The restaurant manager said the accident was not his fault due to the rain.

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

You can certainly claim compensation for slipping on a wet floor in a fast food restaurant if the floor was wet due to a spillage; however claiming compensation for slipping on a wet floor in a fast food restaurant due to rain is more complicated; although possible in certain circumstances.

In order to claim compensation for slipping on a wet floor in a fast food restaurant you must have been injured in an accident which was caused by negligence of the restaurant owner. If it had been raining, it may be unreasonable to expect the restaurant owner to have been able to keep the floor dry. Customers entering the fast food restaurant from the rain would make the floor wet. Any ‘reasonably attentive’ customer should therefore have expected the floor to be wet and have taken extra care.

This does not mean that that a claim for slipping on a wet floor would not be possible in your case, only that it may be difficult to establish and prove that the fast food restaurant owner had actually been negligent. You should therefore speak to a personal injury solicitor about the exact circumstances under which you slipped and fell in a fast food restaurant in order to determine whether you have a valid claim for restaurant slip injury compensation.

Although the fast food restaurant owner may not have been able to prevent the floor from becoming wet, a floor surface should have been chosen which would offer some grip in all weather conditions. A suitable non-slip floor surface should therefore have been chosen. If a floor surface has been chosen which was not suitable and posed a serious risk of slipping when wet, it is possible that this could be classed as negligence and claiming compensation for slipping on a wet floor in a fast food restaurant would be possible on these grounds.

The restaurant owner should have completed a risk assessment to determine whether the floor became dangerous in wet weather. If marble flooring, polished wooden laminate flooring or ceramic tiles with a smooth and glossy finish has been used, it is likely that these would represent a safety hazard when wet. If this was the case, non-slip mats or an equivalent floor covering should have been used during wet weather conditions. Failure to reduce the risk of slipping could see the owner liable to pay you compensation for slipping on a wet floor in a fast food restaurant.

Due to the problems with these types of restaurant slip injury claims, we recommend contacting a solicitor as soon as possible for an individual assessment of your claim.