Premise liability refers to the responsibility of business owners to maintain the safety of their guests or customers. Any location that invites customers into their business is accepting the liability for injuries they may incur while on their property. All types of businesses, including restaurants, retail stores, hotels, and service businesses have the same responsibility to keep their facility maintained. According to Kevin Attkisson of The Attkisson Law Firm, “The area of the law related to premise liability is fairly broad and can include a large variety of situations.” Following are some examples of the most common types.
A number of things can cause people to fall including wet or uneven surfaces, loose floorboards, items in the walkway, torn carpeting, or the application of water, cleaners, or wax which make the floor slippery. Damage outdoors can include cracked concrete, potholes, or steps in poor condition.
Improperly constructed stairs, loose carpeting, rotting wood, flimsy hand railings, slippery stairs, uneven steps, poor lighting, broken steps, and objects placed on stairs are some of the reasons that they can be a danger. Business owners are required to have indoor and outdoor steps and staircases built up to code and maintained to keep them in good shape and protect them from premise liability.
Accidents Arising from Improper Maintenance
Nearly every type of material used will break down over time and become less reliable. Wood rots, concrete cracks and breaks, and even dirt surfaces erode away and become uneven. This area of premise liability can occur in the parking lot, on the sidewalk or walkway leading to the business, or inside the building. Any failure to maintain a commercial property that results in unsteady or uneven walking space will put the business owner at risk of being sued.
Failure to Hire Sufficient Security
All types of business owners are also liable for hiring adequate security according to the laws of their state. In cases where the business owner hires poorly trained security personnel, they are deemed negligent when an accident occurs. If the victim of the accident believes a lack of security is the cause of the crime that resulted in their injury, they may have a case for premise liability.
Due to its complex nature, any person who encounters any type of accident in a business or on their property should consider the possibility that theirs is a case of premise liability. To have the specific conditions surrounding the accident and their injury analyzed, they should see a personal injury lawyer who has experience and knowledge in this area of the law.
There are some distinct differences in premise liability according to the state where the accident occurs. For example, in Ohio, there is a law called “The Open and Obvious Doctrine” which makes proving that the accident resulted from the negligence of the business and that the condition that caused the accident was not an obvious hazard. Only an experienced lawyer with the knowledge of state and federal laws which pertain to personal injury can accurately determine if the accident victim has a legitimate claim.