Are Businesses Required to Account for Customer Safety?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Michael Chaloupka with Metier Law Firm.
Whenever an injury occurs due to unsafe conditions on a property, the party responsible for managing that property could be held liable. This is true for private properties, hospitals, government buildings, and businesses of all types. Businesses are required to provide reasonably safe conditions for employees, guests, and customers alike. This includes matters of security as well as matters of basic safety. If you or a loved one were injured on the premises of a business, reach out to a premises liability attorney to discuss your options for physical and financial recovery.
Customer injuries that may occur on business properties include but are not limited to the following:
- Slip and fall or trip and fall injuries
- Elevator and escalator injuries
- Shopping cart injuries
- Head and neck injuries from falling objects
- Lacerations from counters and showcases
- Wounds from sharp objects, shopping carts, etc.
- Doors closing on a customer’s face or hands
- Overcrowding injuries
- Assaults, gunshots, stabbings, or robbery in unmonitored parking lots and other dimly lit areas
- Food poisoning
Causes of injuries that may occur on a business’s property run the gamut from slippery floors and cracked pavement to poorly stacked merchandise and sharp-cornered counters. All of these scenarios and more can contribute to a business’s premises liability. Negligent security is another common cause of customer injuries and may occur in parking lots, parking garages, and other dimly lit areas in or around a business for which the employer is responsible but does not provide basic security.
Businesses owe a basic duty of care to their customers.
A “duty of care” is a legal way of saying that one party is responsible for looking after the basic safety of another party. If a business fails to take reasonable measures to ensure their customers’ safety, especially when compared to similar businesses in the same industry, they can be held liable for a customer’s damages when injuries arise. Reasonable measures to ensure customer safety could range from setting up a “Caution: Wet Floor” sign after mopping to installing security cameras and adequate lighting in places where customers will need to park and walk.
If you are injured as a customer in a place of business, you may be eligible to file a premises liability claim.
A premises liability claim is a type of lawsuit in which the injured party, or plaintiff, attempts to hold the at-fault party, or defendant, accountable for the damages they suffered. The injured party with or without the help of an attorney can collect helpful evidence to prove where and how the injury occurred. Evidence may include pictures of the location and any contributing factors, as well as the contact information and testimonies from potential witnesses.
Compensation may be sought for damages related to the injury including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. To discuss the viability of your premises liability or negligent security case, talk to a premises liability attorney. It may help to note that these attorneys generally offer free consultations to potential clients and work on a contingency fee basis; this means that customers injured on a negligent business’s premises will not have to pay for their legal services unless and until they win their case.
To learn more about a business’s duty of care toward their customers, or for help filing a claim, talk to a premises liability sooner rather than later.