How to keep your premises safe and prevent personal injury lawsuits

How to keep your premises safe and prevent personal injury lawsuits

If you are an entrepreneur or the owner of a private or commercial property, it is your duty to keep your visitors, customers, and/or employees safe. Since you are its rightful owner, you can be held accountable for the individuals that will enter your establishment.

Unfortunately, accidents can happen in just a blink of an eye. If it took place on your property, you may be liable for the incident and may need to pay for the damages. To avoid a majority of accidents from happening, fostering a secure environment is essential. 

What is premises liability?

Premise liability or premises liability, are legal terms for the responsibility that property owners or residents hold that makes them liable for the accidents or injuries that may take place in their property. If you are unable to maintain the safety of your premises, you may get a personal injury lawsuit. 

As an example, if you own a grocery store and a customer slips and falls due to wet flooring, they can sue you for your carelessness. If they are successful, you may have to pay for their medical bills, treatment, and other compensation or costs that may have resulted or been affected from and by the accident. 

Depending on where you live, legal matters are complex and will vary in each state. Hence, a thorough process will take place to see which party is liable in an accident, along with the rightful conditions to determine the duty of care. 

Although you can be held liable for an incident that happened on your property, there is a distinction to the statuses of the individuals who enter your abode. They can either be an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser. Establishing their status will be extremely important in a premise liability lawsuit. 

Invitees are the persons who are invited by the owners. In a commercial setting, they can be the owner’s customers or clients. 

Licensees or social guests are the persons who are allowed to be on the property with the invitation or permission of the owner. 

Finally, trespassers are the persons who are on the property without any permission from the owner. 

For invitees and licensees, property owners must make sure that they are safe during their stay. However, different laws may apply to trespasses and in some states, owners may not be liable for their injuries or accidents that happened on their establishment. 

Ways to keep your premises safe

When you follow recommended safety procedures, it is easier to prevent accidents that can injure visitors and damage your reputation. Here are some of the most effective ways to keep your property safe to be in.

Adhere to a regular inspection schedule

As the owner of the property, it would be best to have your establishment inspected professionally. The inspection should include your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, the state of your windows, floors, and other parts of your building that can cause your visitors bodily harm. 

Make improvements to your establishment

After the inspection, your inspector may tell you that you have an issue with your utilities. In some cases, they may also see that your building might need repairs or lack the presence of warning signs. As soon as you know the problems, you must actively correct these troubles before they can cause a bigger headache. 

Train your employees properly

Implementing a safety protocol with your employees will greatly help prevent accidents on your property. For example, there should be a schedule they should adhere to during a snow day to prevent slippage on your pavement. Your staff should also know what to do in case of an emergency and should have access to a well-stocked emergency kit. 

Keep your tools and equipment in check

It is crucial to equip a workplace or business with safe tools and equipment. Hence, you must ensure that the equipment that your employees are using for their day-to-day tasks is clean and well-maintained. As much as possible, conduct regular tests to make sure that they are still functional and will not put the safety of your staff in danger.

Update your insurance 

Finally, one of the best ways to protect your property, employees, and visitors is by having general liability insurance. Having insurance will help if an injured visitor decides to file a lawsuit against your establishment. This will also allow you to have the means to pay for unforeseen accidents that can be very expensive to fix or pay.

Protect yourself from a personal injury lawsuit now

Although it is possible to prevent an accident from happening on your property, most of the time, it may still happen no matter how hard we try to prevent it. In this case, having a personal injury lawyer to assist you will be helpful to win your case. If it happened on your property, it may be difficult to protect yourself from legal repercussions. After all, as the owner, it is your responsibility to keep your premises safe. In a situation where you find yourself involved in a lawsuit, make sure to get assistance from a local premises liability lawyer.