Thriving businesses can attract a great deal of visitors. It is the job of the property owner to keep these grounds safe so that they do not cause harm to any of their guests. This can be done in a variety of ways. If the property is not taken care of, it can become hazardous and threaten the safety of those who come onto it. When an injury occurs as a result, the injured party can pursue legal action against a property owner under premises liability law. Continue reading below to learn more.
What are the Three Legal Classes of Visitors?
There are three classifications of visitors when dealing with premises liability law, including:
- Invitee: A person who enters the premises at an express invitation or the invitation of an employee. This does not have to be in writing. The invitation is to transact business. Customers enter a property for a mutual benefit.
- Licensee: A person who is a guest for personal reasons instead of business or commercial purposes. For example, this may be inviting guests over for dinner at your home. When dealing with businesses, those who enter the property are almost always invitees and not licensees.
- Trespasser: These are persons who enter a property without being asked or invited, normally in violation of trespassing laws. This can include a customer who refuses to leave when asked or a burglar. Business owners do not have a legal duty to keep their property safe for trespassers. However, they cannot purposely cause harm to trespassers.
What are Common Causes of Injury Claims?
There are many different reasons as to how a personal injury accident may happen on a business’ property. This can include the following circumstances:
- Slippery surfaces: Rain, snow, ice, spills, wet or waxed floors, and more can cause slip and fall accidents.
- Faulty stairs and escalators: Broken railings, slippery steps, and mechanical failures can lead to stairwell and/or escalator accidents.
- Falling merchandise: Objects falling off shelves can be a common cause of injuries to employees as well as customers.
- Physical obstacles: Any poorly placed electrical cords, protruding furniture, floor mats or door moldings, door stops, fallen merchandise, etc., should be taken care of immediately upon notice so they do not cause injuries.
- Inadequate lighting: This can hide hazards that would otherwise be visible to visitors, such as curbs, physical obstructions, steps, potholes, etc.
- Parking lots: Property owners are also responsible for their parking lots. Accidents can be caused by concrete car stops, potholes, misdirected cars, uneven pavement, poor signage, construction, criminal activity, etc.
- Sidewalks: Broken, cracked, or uneven sidewalks can cause harm to pedestrians. It is important to note that business owners normally are not responsible for government-controlled sidewalks. However, they may be responsible for sidewalks adjacent to their business.
- Food poisoning: Customers can be made sick due to poor food handling, poor storage, or the transmission of disease from employees at food-service locations.
Contact our Firm
If you or someone you know has been wrongly injured, you must not wait. Our firm is ready to help you through each step of the legal process to help ensure you recover the financial compensation you need to move on with your life. We are ready to help–all you have to do is contact Brock & Goetzmann, PLLC today.