As a business owner, it is your responsibility to keep the outside perimeter of your property clear of hazards. You also need to implement safety measures that will keep you, your employees and your customers from injuring themselves on the outside of your property.
Slip and fall injuries are the leading cause of premises liability claims against businesses. Each year, companies pay out millions of dollars for personal injury slip and fall lawsuits. There are many factors that can cause a person to become injured from a slip and fall accident outside of a business, and individuals who fall outside of someone’s property may be able to sue them for damages. Here are some common conditions that lead to slip and fall accidents and what you can do to avoid them.
Lack of Adequate Lighting
If the lighting around your property is poor and does not provide sufficient visibility, and someone slips, falls and injures themselves, your business may be held liable. All it takes is for one person to slip, fall or trip over an object or the sidewalk and claim that it was the result of not being able to see clearly. If it can be proven that you were aware of the lighting situation and did nothing to improve it, you could be ordered to pay the victim damages and to improve the lighting situation around your building.
Ice and Snow
Although you are not required to remove the snow and ice on your property, in some cases you can be held responsible for any slip and fall injuries that occur while those substances are present. However, if there is a significant or excessive amount of snow or ice accumulation on the outside of your property, anyone that injures themselves may be able to sue you for their ordeal. Anything that accumulates beyond a normal amount is your responsibility to remove. Many businesses avoid this technicality by simply removing snow and ice as they appear.
Parking Lots and Sidewalks
Although you may not own the sidewalks and parking lots that surround your facilities, you may still be held liable for any injuries that occur on any parking lot or sidewalk that is used exclusively for your business. This includes uneven sidewalks and deteriorating parking lots.
Being the owner of a small business means you need to be extra diligent in how well you maintain the property outside of your company. Even though these areas may be the property of the city and state, some courts still hold business owners responsible for what transpires on them. It is far more beneficial and cost-effective for you to minimize your risks by keeping the outside of your buildings as hazard-free as possible.
How You Can Protect Your Business From the Consequences of Slip and Fall Accidents
•Make sure your business has a good insurance policy. You never know when someone is going to be injured outside of your property. You should also practice good safety habits to keep your property as hazard-free as possible.
•Slip and fall accidents can be very expensive situations to deal with for business owners. Not only do you need to worry about the amount of damages the victim may receive, there is also the negative impact that the situation can cause to your business’ reputation.
•Hire an attorney. It is to your benefit to discuss any slip and fall liability concerns with an attorney. They can provide you with information and guidance so you can work towards eliminating any potential hazards and so you know what to do if your business is ever named in any lawsuits.
With the right preventative measures, a good policy and due diligence, you can protect your business from the dangers of outside slip and fall situations.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.