Slippery or uneven flooring or a poorly maintained parking lot can lead to slip and fall accident. Inadequate lighting or security can allow crime to occur. Property owners have the duty of taking precautions to avoid injury to their customers or guests.
Slips and falls
Slips, trips, and falls are common personal injury accidents. To avoid these premise liability injuries, property owners have the duty to repair or prevent these conditions:
- Gloss-finished tile, polished stone, and other slippery surfaces
- Flooring with holes or needing repairs
- Uneven surfaces
- Different elevation
- Poorly illuminated or marked walkway transitions
- Spills, bad drainage, snow, ice, and rain
Crime is often foreseeable. Owners must take safeguards to secure their property and prevent theft, assaults and other violence that could cause injury or even death. Reasonable precautions include:
- Reducing hiding places for perpetrators by keeping trees and shrubs trimmed.
- Having adequate indoor and outdoor lighting and illuminated parking facilities.
- Installing security cameras or closed-circuit video monitoring or having security guards trained in recognizing threats and taking appropriate action.
- Requiring sign-in for visitors and inspecting packages.
- Restricting secure areas to authorized people.
- Using a key management system and reprogramming key cards often.
- Having an alarm system always monitored by local police or a security agency.
- Obtaining information from local police on neighborhood crime and statistics to understand potential criminal activity.
- Seek security recommendations from local law enforcement.
Property owners need to assure that guests and customers have a safe exit if there is a fire or other emergency. These steps are also important:
- All emergency exits must be clearly identified so everyone may locate the closest escape route in an emergency.
- Sprinkler and fire detection systems must be maintained and kept up to fire codes.
- Inspect emergency light and illuminated exit signs and keep them in good repair.
- All evacuation paths must be visible and unimpeded.
- Emergency evacuation floor plans and procedures must be posted in a noticeable location.
Injuries from an accident or crime in a building may cause serious injuries. Attorneys can help assure that rights are protected in lawsuits if property owners do not take these precautions.