Business Properties and Premises Liability
Everything Business Owners Need to Know About Premises Liability
Running a business takes a lot of work already to manage on the front end, however, there is important business to be taken care of on the back end, as well. Accidents happen and if they happen on the premises of your business, you could be held liable for any injuries that are sustained. Below, our expert team of premises liability attorneys from West Coast Trial Lawyers break down everything business owners should know about premises liability.
What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability means that the owner of a property or a business can be found liable for any accidents and/or injuries that occur on the premises. The owner is expected to provide a duty of care to their visitors. For this reason, it is important for landowners to take proper precautions in order to ensure the safety of their visitors. This includes placing warning signs or barriers in any hazardous areas around the property. If accidents do happen on your premises, they will be billed to the insurance companies. However, the goal is to prevent accidents from happening in the first place.
Business Premises Liability Insurance
General liability business insurance coverage offers coverage for companies in the case that an accident were to occur on their property. This is an essential form of business insurance and if you choose a business insurance package, be sure that this one is included.
How Premises Liability Is Determined
In order to win a business insurance claim, an aggrieved individual must prove that the injuries sustained are due to an accident caused by the business owner’s negligence to the property. They must prove that the accident happened because of a dangerous situation that the property owner was aware of, but took no action to correct. This can mean that the condition that caused the accident was: created by the owner; known about by the owner, though neglected; or long existing enough for the owner to know about and correct before an accident occurred.
4 Ways to Prevent Accidents and Premises Liability Cases
While accidents do happen, it is a business owner’s responsibility to ensure that they are prevented by establishing the best protective and preventive actions possible. Here are four ways to prevent accidents and premises liability cases:
- Providing visible signage upon entry to your business is a way to place a disclaimer that warns visitors of any risk they are taking upon entering the property. This is a basic step to prevent premises liability in the case of an accident.
- Offering adequate security throughout the premises is crucial to ensuring the safety of all visitors to the premises of the business. Adequate security includes though is not limited to: installing and monitoring security cameras; providing good lighting throughout the property; ensuring that doors, gates, and locks work; having professionally trained security on the premises; responding to emergencies; and maintaining a property’s appearance and safety standards.
- Frequent inspections will make the business a safer environment for visitors to enter. This includes checking for any poor lighting, electrical equipment issues, or wet or damaged floors.
- Addressing issues immediately will lessen the chances of the company facing any premises liability issues. For example, if there is a spill on the floor, a way to immediately address the problem would be to put a “Wet Floor” sign and mop up the spill. Another example would be an object causing hazard to the visitor’s walkway. To fix the issue, the property owner should remove the hazard or have a sign indicating that there is a hazardous object ahead.
Common Business Premises Liability Injuries
- Slip and fall accidents are the most common premises liability accidents out there. They usually occur due to slippery substances or spills on the floor. These can be especially dangerous for people who are elderly or suffer from delicate bone structure that can result in broken bones, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injuries.
- Grocery store accidents are another type of premises liability accident. Slip and falls are recurring issues that take place in grocery stores, as are fallen objects that can cause traumatic brain injury.
- Poor lighting is another common business premises liability issue that can cause injury. This is especially prevalent in parking lots, where bad lighting can give way to both physical assaults, sexual assaults, and even death.
Keeping Your Business Reputation
A premises liability case can severely impact the reputation of your business. Although there are times that accidents and injuries might be staged by people in order to receive compensation, this is the minority of the incidents that occur. It is important for business owners to take responsibility for these accidents because if they try to fight against it, it could be unfavorable on their image as a business. An experienced premises liability attorney could assist business owners in managing false claims and or mitigate settlements between the aggrieved individual and the business.
Need a Premises Liability Attorney? West Coast Trial Lawyers Can Help
If an accident occurs on your property, you should consult an attorney about your premises liability case. Our experienced team of premises liability attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers will help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (213) 927-3700 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.