New Outdoor Dining May Pose Danger Near Roadways
Since the beginning of the year, businesses of all sizes across the country have been forced to adapt to unprecedented circumstances and mandates in response to the continual spread of the virus, COVID-19. It goes without saying, the lasting effects of the virus’ persistent spread have forced everyone to great lengths to not only function but survive. With still over 40,000 new confirmed cases each day in the United States, restrictions once hoped to be momentary are beginning to feel more permanent.
In response to studies showing the increased likelihood of spread of the infection in indoor spaces, the state of California has mandated restaurants to provide outdoor seating for diners as an alternative to indoor seating. For some restaurants, this outdoor seating is the only way they can stay open and welcome guests back for on-site dining. As a result, restaurants, bars, and cafes have spilled on to the city streets margining off sidewalk, parking spaces, and even street space to fit as many tables and chairs as safely possible, while still maintaining a safe, six-foot distance between each party.
Aimed at keeping businesses open, employees working, and diners safe, these measures, some worry, may have come at a potential danger to those occupying these makeshift outdoor dining rooms.
While some cities and establishments have taken great effort to block off parts of roadways and construct durable extensions for safe and comfortable outdoor dining, others have not. Whether a lack of resources or proper logistical planning, there is some concern to the safety of diners in these outdoor arrangements so close to flowing traffic.
In some areas such as downtown San Luis Obispo, CA, the city is providing no-fee permits and planter boxes to help businesses with the construction and beautification of their outdoor dining areas. These “parklets” occupy space normally reserved for metered street parking and have been built as semi-permanent structures. The city has also closed off some downtown streets to vehicles to provide a safe space for extended seating for larger restaurants.
However, some places are struggling with the statewide mandate. Moving dining outdoors is disrupting the company’s operations and as cold weather looms, making business owners nervous. Furthermore, the construction of safe and inviting outdoor seating can be costly for already struggling businesses. Additionally, those adding seating in or near roadways raises considerable concern for worker and diner safety.
Already this year, numerous accidents involving vehicles and outdoor dining spaces have been reported. People have been injured while dining by cars that have collided into the seating space.
In instances like this, a personal injury lawyer can step in and handle the case of those injured by the negligence of unsafe drivers. The proven and award-winning team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers has over a decade of experience successfully resolving cases for thousands of clients. Our California personal injury lawyers provide personal and professional representation and are available 24/7 offering free case consultations.
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At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation and attend to your case to ensure you are receiving the treatment you need and the settlement you are entitled to.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident caused by a dangerous or negligent driver while dining outdoors in California, contact the qualified and proven team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. at 1.800.GO.HARRIS for a free case consultation today.