Slip and fall accidents cause thousands of injuries every year. Many of these occur in places of business, and a judge may find the owner liable if the plaintiff can prove negligence.
According to FindLaw, proving fault is the job of the plaintiff, but it can be challenging to do so. If you are a business owner, there are strategies to have in place to not only reduce the incidence of slip and falls, but also to prevent liability.
Elements necessary to prove fault
If someone has an injury from a fall in your place of business, this individual must prove a number of things:
- The owner or management caused the condition that resulted in the fall
- The owner was aware of the hazard and was negligent in fixing the condition
- The hazardous condition existed for a long enough period of time that the owner should have noticed it and corrected it prior to the accident
According to News Blaze, the best way to avoid legal issues is to take certain steps to identify hazards and correct them as quickly as possible. The owner or an employee should conduct regular maintenance checks of the property and have a plan in place, so the repair of any issue takes place immediately.
When immediate action is not possible, there should be clear, concise and adequate signage warning of the hazardous condition until repair occurs. Someone should clean up any spills right away, and when it is raining or snowing, there should be adequate rugs and regular clearing of wet floors. Owners should also be aware that they are responsible for maintaining the exterior of a building, so prevention strategies apply to sidewalks, exterior stairs and parking lots as well.