Premises liability

For the longest time, I never considered how dangerous and harmful slips, trips, or falls could be.

Recently I’ve been thinking about it a lot more as my mother is getting older. She needs a walker to get around most places, and her balance isn’t great when she’s standing up on her own. As someone who is relatively young, I don’t imagine I would be harmed too much if I fell in a grocery store. However, my mom could get seriously hurt if a grocery store forgot to put out a wet floor sign and she tried to walk through a puddle.

I don’t own my own business, so I’ve never considered how much a business has to do to protect customers on their property. But, I read more about the subject on the website for the Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC. The lawyers at that firm have represented a lot of people in Tennessee after they were injured because of a company’s negligence. They had a lot of helpful information about what types of things could make a company liable for a slip and fall lawsuit.

Most of us tend to think that we go to the store of our own will, apart from anyone else’s. But the law has made some important distinction about the role of an open business. The law states that any store which is open for business is actually inviting people onto their property. This is important because when people invite you onto their property, they have a legal obligation to make sure that you stay safe.

That means when my mom goes to the grocery store, the grocery store has a legal obligation to make sure that she is not injured while shopping. This means that they have to be diligent about marking wet or slippery floors. They must take care to clean up any spilled produce quickly. They have to make sure that welcome mats are properly secure and that people will not trip on them. Grocery stores must also repair any broken pavement in the parking lot. Handrails must also be regularly inspected to make sure that they are working properly. If my mother leaned on a faulty handrail, she could get seriously injured.

I haven’t had to consider all these things before now, but I’m glad I was able to get a grasp on a business’s responsibility to its customers in case anything ever does happen.

This doesn’t apply just stores either. The same sort of rules applies to landlords and property owners. If someone sustains an injury in an apartment complex, the law says that the landlord may be responsible for damages if they were unreasonably unaware of the conditions that caused injury. The same can be said if a landlord fails to repair something brought to their attention that causes injury. For example, if you ask a landlord to repair broken pavement, and then you are later injured because they did not repair it, you may have an opportunity to file a lawsuit for all of the damages received.


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