As businesses begin to reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic, business owners should take various precautions to ensure their properties are safe so they may avoid potential premises liability lawsuits against them. Please continue reading to learn more about precautions business owners must take to ensure the safety of all who enter and leave their property.
Are there different types of visitors?
There are three types of visitors. Invitees are someone who enters a property after being invited by an employee, with the purpose of conducting business for a mutual benefit. Licensees are visitors who have been invited onto a property for personal reasons, such as to eat dinner. Finally, there are trespassers who unlawfully enter property without either explicit or implied invitation. Though property owners are generally not liable for a trespasser’s injuries, if they know the trespasser is on their property and they fail to warn the trespasser of any unsafe conditions, they may still be held liable for that trespasser’s injuries.
What should I do to keep my business safe?
If you are a property owner, you will have to do everything in your power to ensure your property is safe for all who enter and leave. Some of the most common hazards that we see business owners and other property owners sued for are as follows:
- Slippery surfaces: These are often from spills, weather-related hazards, and more. Property owners must clear away all slippery surfaces within a reasonable amount of time to ensure nobody slips and falls.
- Parking lots: Parking lots are highly concentrated areas of people, so the chances of an accident occurring drastically increase when in one. Uneven pavement, careless or confusing signage, construction work, misdirected cars, and more are all common causes of parking lot accidents.
- Sidewalks: Of course, property owners, including business owners, are not responsible for government-owned sidewalks. However, all business owners must ensure their sidewalks and parking lots are safe for all.
- Defective stairs: Injuries relating to defective stairs frequently happen in apartment buildings or businesses with two floors. Missing stairs, loose railings, poor lighting, and more cause stairwell accidents.
- Falling merchandise: This most frequently occurs in supermarkets and other department stores.
- Food poisoning: This type of harm also mainly occurs in supermarkets and restaurants. Both establishments must ensure the food they sell/serve to customers is fresh and 100% safe to eat.
- Inadequate lighting: Inadequate lighting can be responsible for a wide variety of accidents, as it causes people not to see safety hazards that they may have seen otherwise. For example, if there is black ice in a parking lot and there is not sufficient lighting, someone may not see the ice and sustain a serious injury. The same goes for potholes, loose debris, and more.
If you have been injured due to a negligent business owner, please do not hesitate to reach out to our knowledgeable Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys today.
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