Premises liability lawsuits occur when someone is injured on a property and sues the property owner for damages. These types of lawsuits can be very stressful for property owners and can increase homeowner insurance rates or business insurance rates. It is in everyone’s best interests to reduce the incidences of these lawsuits — and the tragic incidents which cause them. Here’s what property owners can do:
1) Think personal safety – not just property safety. Most property owners and business owners know that clearing puddles that can cause slip and fall accidents is important, but not all premises liability issues in Florida are caused by property hazards. A property owner can be sued if a crime occurs on the premises and it is determined that the owner failed to take due care to prevent such crimes. Therefore, rather than considering what hazards exist on your premises, it can be useful to consider how someone’s safety might be compromised on the property. If employees have underground parking, is that parking well-lit, with adequate security? Who visits your property and what can you do to make these visitors safer?
2) Stay alert. It is important to read up about local crimes that may eventually make it to your premises. If there is a rash of crimes in your area, alert people who visit your property or put up warning signs. Walk around your property regularly so that you can notice – and act on – and problems.
3) Do not put off hazard management. Businesses, especially, can benefit from a written management plan. Have a written plan for preventing Florida slip and fall accidents on your property, for example, or have a comprehensive plan that includes a written plan for inspecting the property, receiving complaints about potential hazards, and acting on possible issues.
4) Work with the right tools. A security company to monitor the property or low-cost cameras do not have to be a huge investment, but can help you keep everyone on your premises safer. Today’s tools are more affordable than ever and allow you to view your premises from any computer through cameras.
5) Ask for input. You may not notice possible issues that are obvious to others. If you have employees, ask them for their input – and act on it. Have a suggestion box. Hire a security company to do an audit on your business to determine any premises liability issues which could spell danger for your customers and for you.
If you have been injured on a business property, contact the Flaxman Law Group. Through a free initial consultation, we can explain your rights and options to you so that you can make an informed decision about your case. We have worked with thousands of South Florida personal injury victims through our offices in Hollywood, Miami, and Homestead, so we have extensive expertise.