Business owners are legally responsible for ensuring commercial properties are well-maintained and safe for visitors, guests, and employees. If you are injured at a business due to the negligence of the business owner to maintain their property, you may be eligible to file a premises liability claim to receive compensation for your injuries. However, not everyone is entitled to compensation after being injured at a business or retail location. There must be evidence that the business owner was aware of the hazard and failed to fix the issue that caused the injury or that they created the dangerous condition. Here is how business owners can adequately maintain their properties to prevent personal injury claims.
Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability claim. Slips and falls can occur due to a wide range of hazards at various businesses. From sticky and slippery substances spilled on grocery aisle floors to customers tracking in water into the lobby during a thunderstorm, slip and fall hazards appear as a daily part of many businesses’ regular operations. Business owners are responsible for reasonably warning visitors of potential dangers using any means necessary, including verbal directions, signs, caution tape, and cones that alert visitors of the hazard. Slips and falls can also occur when there are broken or absent handrails on stairs that require them. Local building codes dictate when handrails are required for stairs and steps, so business owners must follow all applicable regulations and laws.
Failing to provide reasonable security outside and around commercial properties can cause accidents and injuries. Business owners must secure their properties to deter violence or crime. For instance, convenience store owners must have security cameras around the property. They should also ensure walkways and parking lots are well-lit. Another important factor in providing adequate security is limiting access control, such as having security guards or ID scanners.
Improper maintenance is another common cause of personal injuries at businesses and commercial properties. This could include broken fences, uneven sidewalks, leaks, broken equipment or furniture, and improperly repaired shelving.
“Attractive nuisances” are unsecured objects that are inherently dangerous that may entice young children (who do not understand the danger) to enter the property and suffer serious injuries or death. An unsecured swimming pool is one of the most common examples of an attractive nuisance in Florida. For a premises liability claim to be filed, the court must prove that the property owner knew about the potential danger the object could cause and failed to mitigate access and protect it.
To prove negligence due to premises liability, the Plaintiff needs to prove that the property owner had a duty to care for the visitor and failed to do so. Property owners may need to show more care for visitors who enter a retail store during regular business hours than those walking through the store’s parking lot at midnight after the store is closed. The Plaintiff must also prove that the unsafe condition significantly contributed to the injury. Lastly, business owners are only liable in these cases if they are aware of the hazard, foresaw the potential for injury or danger, and were negligent in fixing it promptly.
If you are injured at a business or commercial property in Ocala or Central Florida, seek medical attention immediately to get a full assessment of your injuries. Take pictures of the scene and exchange contact information with present employees and witnesses. You will also want to file an incident report to ensure there is a record of your injury. Then, call the personal injury attorneys at King Law Firm to help you receive compensation for your injuries. Get a free consultation by calling us at 352-269-1814.