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Premises Liability: What Are Business Owners Responsible For?

Business owners are legally obligated to maintain their commercial properties and ensure they’re safe for visitors, guests, and employees. You can file a premises liability claim if you’re injured at a business due to the owner’s failure to maintain the property. What exactly are business owners liable for maintaining? Below, we discuss the responsibilities business and property owners have to ensure the safety of their staff and visitors to prevent injuries. 

Regular Maintenance  

Failing to maintain the premises regularly is one of the most common reasons people are injured at businesses. Whether the owner didn’t get around to fixing a problem in a timely fashion or willingly decided not to fix it due to budget concerns, business owners are responsible for maintaining their property and fixing issues and hazards as they arise. Regular inspections and deep cleaning can help prevent injuries at businesses, such as slips and falls. Businesses must also keep up with regular inspections and make the necessary repairs and modifications to stay up to code. 

Provide Adequate Security 

Business owners must make reasonable attempts to protect their business and their customers. According to Florida law, businesses like check-cashing establishments and convenience stores must have security measures like security cameras. Other types of businesses must provide appropriate security measures to prevent criminal activity and injuries. This could include proper lighting in the parking lot and the use of security personnel (if warranted). Failing to provide reasonable security outside and around a commercial property can subject customers to violent attacks, resulting in severe injury or death. 

Warn Customers and Employees of Hazards 

Slip and falls are the most common injuries at commercial properties. Business owners need to make reasonable accommodations to remove potential hazards and warn others when a hazard is present. Business owners and employees should warn customers about wet floors and hazardous materials with signage near the hazard. Business owners should also make employees aware of potentially dangerous materials used in the workplace, proper disposal methods, and how to protect themselves from exposure.  

Remove and Repair Hazards 

Not only should business owners be aware of potential hazards and warn customers about them, but they also need to make reasonable attempts to fix, remove, or repair the hazard. Some common culprits include uneven sidewalks, leaks, broken equipment, improperly repaired shelving, damaged handrails, or slippery floors. If the problem isn’t fixed within a reasonable timeframe, business owners can be liable for any injuries the hazard causes.

Filing a Premises Liability Claim in Florida

To file a premises liability claim against a business, you’ll need to prove that the business or property owner had a duty to care for you as a customer or employee and failed to provide adequate attention. You’ll need to show that the business was aware of the hazard, saw the potential for injury, and failed to fix it in a reasonable amount of time. You’ll also need to prove that the unsafe condition at the business was the primary cause of your injury. For example, if you slip and fall at a business during a thunderstorm because the business owner refused to fix a leaky roof, you’d need to show that slipping and falling was the primary cause of your injury. 

 King Law Firm—Ocala Premises Liability Attorney 

If you get injured at a commercial property in Central Florida, seek immediate medical attention to assess your injuries. If you can, record your injury by taking pictures and getting the contact information of witnesses. You’ll also want to ensure the business files an incident report so there’s a record of your injury. Our team at the King Law Firm can help you seek damages for a serious injury you suffered at a commercial property. Get a free consultation by calling us at 352-269-1814.

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