Understanding Premises Liability: How to Protect Your Business from Lawsuits

Last Updated: 

April 1, 2023

Understanding Premises Liability: How to Protect Your Business

Owning a business comes with responsibilities and hazards. Understanding premises liability is crucial to protect your business from possible consequences. If you neglect this, you may face a lawsuit that can drain your bank account, cost you valuable time, and rob your business of its reputation.

Key takeaways on protecting your business from lawsuits

  1. Recognise common premises liability claims, such as stairway accidents, slip and falls, inadequate security, and poorly maintained facilities.
  2. Perform regular property maintenance to address potential hazards like loose floorboards, broken stairs, and obstructions.
  3. Ensure proper lighting both inside and outside your property to prevent accidents caused by inadequate visibility.
  4. Post warning signs for hazards that cannot be immediately corrected, informing customers of potential dangers.
  5. Train employees to identify hazards, address them, and warn customers about potential risks.
  6. Obtain a liability insurance policy to protect your business financially in case of a lawsuit.
  7. Consult with a premises liability attorney to understand your legal obligations and responsibilities as a property owner or occupant.
  8. In case of an accident, provide medical attention to the injured party, inform your insurance provider, and contact your premises liability lawyer.
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Examples of Premises Liability 

There are many ways that people can get hurt on your property. According to Clifford Law Offices, business owners must anticipate possible hazards and head them off by correcting them or warning your customers about them before they are harmed. Here are some accidents that are common in premises liability claims:

  • Stairway accidents
  • Drowning 
  • Assaults due to inadequate security
  • Dog bites and other animal attacks
  • Elevator and escalator injuries
  • Vandalism, robberies, or break-ins due to an absence of security
  • Accidents related to poorly maintained paths, sidewalks, or stairs
  • Burn injuries due to a lack of fire safety precautions
  • Park or playground injuries because of poorly maintained or dangerous equipment
  • Obstructions that cause injuries
  • Construction site issues
  • Injuries caused by inadequate maintenance
  • Slip and fall accidents caused by wet floors and other issues without warning signs

Ways to Protect Your Business From a Premises Liability Lawsuit

To protect your business from a premises liability lawsuit, there are some things you can do to ensure your property is safe. Listed below are some ways to keep patrons visiting your place of business free of harm: 

  • Be on the lookout for things that could cause visitors harm, including slippery floors, loose handrails, rickety stairs, and similar hazards. Address them immediately. 
  • Regular property maintenance must be performed to keep visitors safe. Fix loose floorboards and broken stairs, and clear the property of obstacles and obstructions.
  •  Make sure your property interior and exterior are well-lit. Inadequate lighting can lead to potential hazards, so change lightbulbs as needed and install extra lights when necessary to ensure maximum safety.
  • When you spot a hazard that cannot be immediately corrected, it is imperative that you post adequate signs warning of the danger. This also goes for things like wet floors. Post a sign letting customers know the floor is wet and potentially slippery so that they know they should take extra caution.
  • Train employees to identify hazards, address them, and warn customers of them. Inform them how to handle potential accidents. 
  • Carry a liability insurance policy on your business to protect you monetarily from liability lawsuits. Discuss with your insurance agent how much coverage you need to protect your business thoroughly.
  • Seek advice from a premises liability attorney to identify your legal obligations as the owner or occupant of a property. A qualified lawyer will help you understand your responsibilities and how to best protect your business.

Protecting Your Customers and Your Business

You can take all the appropriate measures to protect your customers from harm, and accidents can still occur. You must respond quickly and adequately if someone is hurt while visiting your property. Provide medical attention for the injured party and ensure your insurance provider has been informed of the accident. 

Regular property inspections make it a safer business and insulate you from unnecessary lawsuits. Ensure you provide adequate lighting, hazard-free property, and trained employees. Offer warnings when necessary and promptly resolve any maintenance issues to avoid premises liability lawsuits. 

If someone is harmed on your property, ensure they get medical attention, inform your insurance company, and promptly contact your premises liability lawyer. 

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