Premise liability claims are usually filed when a property owner was negligent and where that negligence led to someone being hurt unnecessarily. The owner of a commercial property has a lot of responsibilities to those who enter. In fact, they carry insurance just for this reason. While they oftentimes say this insurance is to keep from getting sued, being a conscientious and responsible property owner is actually how one avoids being sued and there are certainly ways that any property owner can ensure the utmost safety for their clients or customers.
A retail store is one area where this law is frequently seen applied. One of the most common types of injuries in such establishments is a slip and fall injury. These injuries are not as minor as the name makes them sound, in many cases. Remember that most retail establishments have very hard tile floors and that it’s fully possible to die from falling from your own height, even on a softer surface. Head and neck injuries are common with these types of accidents and broken bones sometimes occur, as well.
One way negligence is sometimes exhibited at these stores is in the form of sloppy signage. For instance, when someone comes out to mop up a spill, the safe way to do it is to put out a lot of folding signs around the perimeter of the wet floor. This way, if someone really wants to walk on the wet floor, they’re taking their own chances as they’ve been warned and even specifically requested, by the signage, to stay away. If the wet floor isn’t marked, however, it becomes the equivalent of a trap. Anyone walking onto that surface may be serious injured if they lose their footing and fall to the ground.
Another common example of the sort of negligence that leads to premise liability lawsuits is a weak stair railing. Most people—except for the very young and spry—hold onto a railing instinctively when they descend or ascend stairs. They also put a considerable percentage of their weight on that railing, particularly if they have trouble walking. When these railings aren’t up to safe building standards, they can fail and cause serious injuries and death. If you weren’t using the railing correctly, it’s probably your fault but, if you were and it failed, there may be a lawsuit option.
A lawyer can let you know what you’re options may or may not be. You’ll have to consult with them to see if the property owner was negligent and to see how much money you can press for in a lawsuit. This will be based on past cases as well as on the circumstances of your own. Your lawyer will also be able to help negotiate a settlement for your claim if one is offered, which allows you to avoid going to court at all. These claims are sometimes time limited, so contacting an attorney early is advantageous.