Preventing Premises Liability Claims on Your Commercial Property
Welcome to our latest blog post on preventing premises liability claims on your commercial property. From managing employees to keeping up with industry trends and regulations, it can be easy to overlook the importance of maintaining a safe environment for your customers and visitors.
However, failing to do so could result in costly legal battles, damage your reputation, and even harm innocent individuals. So join us as we explore practical ways you can safeguard against premises liability claims and protect both your business interests and the people who frequent your establishment.
What is Premises Liability?
Property owners are legally obligated to keep their premises in a safe condition. To mitigate potential claims of premises liability, property owners should take the following steps:
Maintain a Safe Environment: Keep all common areas and grounds clean and free of clutter, have proper lighting, and have adequate signage. Keep all hazardous materials properly stored and isolated from where children may be present.
Properly Store Property: Store items securely so that they cannot be accessed by unauthorized persons or damaged by weathering or natural disasters. Ensure pipes, wires, and other utilities are properly buried underground or enclosed in metal conduits. Secure trash receptacles to prevent animals from getting into them and damaging property.
Install Proper Security Systems: Use burglar alarms, surveillance cameras, and fencing to deter criminals and protect assets. Familiarize yourself with your local security codes to properly secure doors and windows against unauthorized entry.
Types of Premises Liability Claims
If you own or manage a commercial property, you may be at risk for premises liability claims. Premises liability is a legal theory that holds businesses and landlords accountable for injuries on their properties.
Trespass: If someone trespasses on your property, they can sue you for damages. This includes intentional trespassing (e.g., going onto your property without permission) and unintentional trespassing (e.g., stepping on something left on the property).
Defective Conditions: If your property has dangerous conditions that cause harm to people, they can sue you. For example, if a leaking roof causes water damage to someone’s property, the person could sue you.
Negligence: Someone got hurt if you were careless in managing your property. As a result, they could sue you. For example, if there’s graffiti all over your building and someone gets hit in the face by a paintball fired from one of the windows, they could sue you for negligence.
How to Protect Your Commercial Property?
Commercial property can be expensive to maintain and protect, so taking steps to minimize the risks of liability claims is essential. Here are four tips for protecting your commercial property:
1. Keep records of all work done. This will help you track who was responsible for what jobs and ensure you follow proper safety procedures.
2. Make sure there is a clear delineation between your business grounds and any adjacent private property. Make sure any signage or fencing is clearly visible and in good condition.
3. Regularly check building permits and insurance policies to ensure the work meets all applicable codes and regulations. If there are any issues, notify local authorities immediately.
4. Always keep an up-to-date copy of your property’s security camera footage to identify anyone who appears to be violating your security policies or trespassing on your premises.
The Main Causes of Premises Liability Claims
The causes of premises liability claims can be anything from faulty wiring to a poorly maintained floor. To help prevent these types of claims, property owners should maintain a safe and clean environment, keep proper lighting and signage in place, and ensure all equipment is up to date. Additionally, they should review their insurance policies to see if they cover any potential liabilities.
If you are the victim of a premises liability claim, you may want to speak with an attorney to discuss your options.
Commercial property can be a valuable asset for any business, but taking the necessary steps to protect that asset is essential. By following these tips, you can ensure your commercial property remains safe and secure for you and your customers.
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