Can I Sue if I Was Badly Burned at a Restaurant in Illinois?
The last thing you expect when you visit a restaurant with family or friends is to suffer a serious burn injury. Yet for many Illinois diners, catastrophic burns happen suddenly and have the potential to change their lives for years to come. A waiter may accidentally tip hot coffee or soup into a patron’s lap, hot grease can melt right through to-go bags, or oil from a teppanyaki-style grill can splash out onto a visitor. Whatever the reason, burn injury lawsuits are more common than you might think and victims can often pursue compensation from the responsible party.
What is a Restaurant’s Duty of Care?
Under Illinois’ Premises Liability Act, restaurants have a responsibility to provide their patrons with a duty of care, including preventing burns through reasonable means. Burns are a legitimate risk in restaurants, and steps must be taken to ensure customers do not suffer painful injuries because of poorly trained staff, uneven floors that cause a slipping hazard around hot grills, or flimsy containers.
Perhaps the most famous restaurant burn injury case was that of an elderly woman who suffered severe third-degree burns from extremely hot coffee that spilled on her lap. Although the victim was often the target of scorn in media coverage of the case, she received a large settlement, in part due to the fact that previous incidents had occurred at the same restaurant chain. When a restaurant knows there is a danger of burns and does not take action to prevent them, this is when a personal injury lawsuit may be most likely to succeed.
Common Restaurant Burn Injuries
Restaurant burn lawsuits are fairly common and are often brought by employees who suffer from poorly maintained premises. Burn injuries at restaurants can include, but are not limited to:
Grease burns - Among the most serious types of burn, hot grease easily causes third-degree burns, which destroy both the epidermis and the dermis, exposing muscle or fatty tissue. Grease burns can require skin grafts and other surgeries to repair large sections of destroyed skin.
Facial disfigurement - When severe burns occur on the face, the victim may have permanent scarring, disfigurement, and loss of facial function.
Hot grill burns - Accidentally touching, falling on, or otherwise coming into contact with a hot grill can cause serious, wide-ranging second-and third-degree burns.
Scalding burns - Very hot liquid can cause burns in the mouth in a matter of seconds. These injuries can be serious enough to require oral surgery.
No matter the cause of your restaurant burn injury, it is essential to first ensure that you receive adequate treatment. Successful restaurant burn victims may receive compensation to cover their medical costs, as well as damages for time off work and loss of quality of life.
Call an Orland Park Restaurant Burn Injury Lawyer
If you have been seriously burned by grease, beverages, or another hot item at a restaurant, you may be able to successfully pursue compensation for your medical expenses and pain and suffering. At Schwartz Injury Law, we take cases like yours seriously and will give you our full attention and resources to determine whether you likely have a case for a personal injury suit. Call us today at 708-888-2160 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Orland Park restaurant burn attorneys.