My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: Washington
My mother fell last saturday night in Popeyes chicken when she went to the bathroom. The bathroom had a corridor to each gender's bathroom, and that corridor was soaked from either a busted pipe or someone leaving the sink going, I was never able to find out which. My mother walked in, and basically hit the ground immediately, and I ran over because she was yelling, and I found on her on the floor, soaked in water, unable to get up. I shouted down the workers (who came out to stare, but otherwise do nothing) and eventually opened the door to the kitchen to demand help. I really couldn't believe my mom couldn't get up, as she's in pretty good shape, but it turned out her ankle was swelling and extremely sore. Eventually a worker helped pick her up, and the manager came over and they sat her in a chair. It was a little scary because she's a diabetic who'd taken insulin, and needed to eat right away, and instead was barely able to move.
They called EMS, who noted my mom's swelling ankle, but curiously, didn't notice the blood in her eye, but the felt that she'd be in pain for a while, but that there was no need to go to the hospital. We sat there and ate, and no one came by to see about anything, and no one asked her to fill out an accident report, and we didn't know to ask for one. My mother was very nervous because she was starting a new job the next day, and she didn't want to go to a hospital, preferring to take naproxen for what was sure to be some sore muscles. A worker helped my mom into the car as we left, but otherwise they didn't so much as offer her a freaking apple pie... much less any type of info for medical issues.
Three days later she fell again at work, the sore ankle gave out, but she had a bit of a breakdown, crying over her fall, and her job made her see a counselor (I have never seen my mother cry, and I'm 34.. so this had to be bad). She is still in pain, and it the naproxen isn't working, and she's sore all over. She is currently at the V.A Hospital, and they have given her a walker. I am thinking she'll need some physical therapy, but I don't know what to do about the restaurant's role in all of this. I don't like the idea of randomly selecting a lawyer from the Yellow pages, but really I have no idea what to do on my own, not that I can't learn. What is our first step? Without any sort of accident report, they're not going to contact us.
The problem I have is that the workers were grossly negligent with the water on the floor because it had been running for so long it had entered that corridor to the bathroom, so I could only imagine how wet the actual bathroom was, and that means no one went in there to check it for hours. This wasn't just a splash of water on the floor, My mom's whole right side was soaked. I really can't believe the 10-15 workers there didn't notice anything at all.
What can we do? Must we get a lawyer or should I call the restaurant directly or what? It sucks because she's a pretty active high-energy woman, and now she's on a freaking walker and in pain all the time. I personally am pushing her to sue because I think that pain and suffering sucks, and the way the people handled it, or didn't handle her fall is insulting, but she just wants to get better... which means we still need someone to pay the medical bills.