“Premises liability” is a legal term that refers to the specific risks a business or property owner incurs when their property is accessible to the public. People have an obligation to maintain facilities in a safe and clean manner to help ensure that no one gets hurt while visiting.
Typically, a business owner will have financial and legal liability for any injuries someone suffers while on their premises. In cases where someone is hurt in a situation caused by inadequate maintenance or neglect, the victim can potentially bring financial or legal claims against the property owner or manager.
Business owners as well as homeowners typically insure themselves against such liability. Slip-and-fall scenarios tend to neatly fit into the standard definition of premises liability, as they often occur due to negligence or inadequate maintenance.
Most slip-and-fall incidents are preventable
People usually don’t slip on clean, dry, even surfaces. Instead, they tend to lose their balance when the flooring is dirty, wet or covered with debris. Newly waxed floors can also present a risk for slip-and-fall incidents, as can sidewalks and parking lots in freezing weather.
If businesses are proactive about spills, monitor their facilities for leaks and clean up messes as soon as they occur, the risk for visitors slipping and falling drastically decreases. Sadly, businesses may not have adequate staff for proper maintenance and cleaning. Some property owners even let facilities fall into significant disrepair, resulting in uneven or warped floors that increase the risk of someone slipping and getting hurt.
Anyone who suffers serious injuries because of a slip-and-fall that occurs due to a lack of maintenance or negligence can potentially bring a premises liability claim against the business where the incident occurred.