The general public expects safe passage in businesses, across transport options and on the sidewalks and roads. The people and organizations that are responsible for public properties are also responsible for public safety, and may be liable if an injury occurs due to their negligence or incompetence.
Preventing accidents is good business for premises owners as well as being a good neighbor. Some incidents are inevitable, but simple care to public areas and surfaces can stop a hazards before it hurts someone and costs liable parties for their inattention.
Slips, trips and falls are the most likely preventable injuries. These can occur because of slippery surfaces due to weather or cleaning, or because of uneven surfaces left by construction or walkway transitions.
Evacuations in emergency situations can cause panic or hurried exits, which could also create conditions for injury. It is necessary to leave clear, well-marked and illuminated emergency exits to keep evacuations smooth.
A property that leaves visitors open to theft, assault or other crimes may create liability for the owner if those events happen. If an owner can foresee danger, a court may decide one is liable for an injury or theft. Securing and monitoring properties is essential.
Victims of slip-and-fall injuries or other premises-related problems may be eligible for financial restitution from the responsible party or parties. Legal representation can help these issues become settlements, lawsuits or other legal solutions.
Source: Travelers, “Premises Security and Liability,” accessed Feb. 23, 2018