Mind your step when shopping this holiday season
Heading into the busy holiday season, business owners in Florida will need to pay more attention to the safety of their premises than at any other time of the year. Any uneven or slippery floors, potholes in a parking lot, assaults or robbery threats could harm consumers and lead to premises liability lawsuits. The list of potential public safety hazards is endless.
As a consumer, you probably expect business owners to consider the safety of you and other members of the public. You will likely trust them to ensure that you will be safe in and around their buildings. Although slip-and-fall accidents are typical causes of injuries that could lead to civil lawsuits, the potential liability is everywhere.
Fire and other life-threatening risks
Any property manager’s risk management plan should include a safe means of evacuation in emergencies. Whether you are a customer, visitor or tenant, you would expect the property owner to include the following measures in the safety routine:
- Evacuation routes must be free of obstructions and easily identifiable.
- Properly maintained emergency lighting and illuminated, noticeable emergency exit signs.
- Post a floor plan with clearly marked emergency exits and evacuation procedures in a public area.
- Keep emergency and all other exits unlocked and unobstructed.
- Maintain fire detection and sprinkler systems as required under safety codes.
Slips, trips and fall prevention
Property owners can prevent these incidents by managing and monitoring both housekeeping and property maintenance standards, which should address the following potential hazards:
- Warn consumers of slippery surfaces such as polished stone, gloss-finished tiles and more.
- Post warnings where surfaces are uneven or where elevations change.
- Repair potholes and other damaged surfaces on walkways and in parking lots.
- Prompt cleaning of spills and other wet hazards such as inclement weather, leaks and poor drainage.
- Ensure well-lit and properly marked walkway transitions.
Robberies and assaults
Property owners must protect you and other consumers from violent acts that could cause injury or death. You might feel safer if you see evidence of the following safety and security measures:
- Ample lighting on the inside and outside of the building, including parking facilities.
- Properly trimmed trees and shrubs to minimize opportunities for perpetrators to hide.
- The presence of security guards, CCTV monitors and security cameras.
If you fall victim to harm and injury by any of these safety hazards while shopping or visiting any property with public access, you might have questions about your legal rights and how to go about pursuing financial relief.
Help is available
Premises liability is a complicated field of the law, and an experienced personal injury attorney might best navigate such lawsuits. A lawyer could assess the circumstances to determine the viability of a claim, and if grounds exist, he or she will provide the necessary support and guidance throughout ensuing legal proceedings in pursuit of recovery of financial and other damages.
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