Stores and other businesses are responsible for keeping their customers safe. Slip-and-fall accidents are common and can result in serious bodily harm, including head injuries and fractures.
When a business owner does not take reasonable steps to prevent such an injury, you may be able to receive compensation.
Responsibilities of business owners
According to Entrepreneurship Life, owners have a legal responsibility to keep their customers and employees safe. Although they may not be able to prevent all accidents on their property, they should do what they can to minimize the risks.
One common hazard in many businesses is a slippery floor. Management personnel and employees need to clean up all spills as quickly as possible and maintain dry floors when it is raining or snowing outside.
Employees should conduct regular maintenance checks so that they can fix any potential hazard right away. Stairways are common places for falls to occur, as a broken handrail, broken step, poor lighting or clutter can easily result in an accident.
Employees should also use proper signage when there is a hazard. Signs can warn of wet floors or other conditions so customers can practice care.
Requirements to prove slip-and-fall liability
If you do slip and fall in a public building, and you receive injuries, you must be able to prove that the owner was liable. FindLaw discusses that a plaintiff must be able to show that:
- The owner created the hazardous condition
- The owner was aware of the condition and was negligent in fixing it
- The owner had time enough time to become aware of the hazard and take the steps to fix it
Sometimes a judge will conclude that both parties were at fault and will award a percentage of the legal damages sought by the injured party.