A slip and fall accident is one of the most common bases for a premises liability lawsuit against a small business. These claims seek compensation for various damages, such as broken bones and medical bills. It will be the victim’s responsibility to prove that the property owner was negligent in causing the conditions that led to the accident. That starts with understanding which types of slips and falls are most likely to occur on small business properties. The personal injury lawyers of Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. will take a look.
The types of slip and fall accidents you should know about
Small businesses in New York have a duty to keep their properties reasonably safe for the customers who visit them. If they don’t, someone might slip or trip or fall on:
Wet or greasy surfaces. Restaurants, bars, and other similar establishments must be mindful of spilled liquids, dropped food, and other food- and drink-related mishaps. A patron could easily slip on a wet or greasy floor and get seriously hurt.
But other businesses have to be careful about wet surfaces too. If it’s rainy outside and a store has heavy foot traffic, the floors can quickly become wet and slick. It may be only a matter of time before someone gets hurt.
Rainy, snowy, and icy surfaces. When inclement weather hits, you can expect surfaces such as parking lots, sidewalks, and store entrances to become dangerous. Excessive rain water, snow, and ice should be removed as soon as possible from places where customers frequent. Businesses are responsible for the sidewalks outside their establishments as well as other areas on their properties.
Uneven flooring. Cracked and broken floors can cause a customer to trip, fall and get hurt. These conditions can occur in a number of places all around the business property. One of the most frequent causes of uneven flooring is a settling foundation, which means that this hazard may take years to develop. Either way, business owners are responsible for keeping their floors safe to walk on.
Dangerous stairways. If a business refuses to maintain its stairs, customers may find themselves seriously injured. Cracks in the stairs, uneven stairs, and lack of safety railing could be to blame. Patrons should be warned if a stair is particularly high off the ground or difficult to notice.
Poor lighting. This condition may account for any number of other slip and fall hazards on the business property. A victim should know, however, that poor lighting is a condition that can be easily remedied – and therefore covered up. You will want to document the poor lighting with a picture or video so the owner cannot hide it later.
Dangerous carpeting and floor mats. The carpet inside a business may be loose, torn, or bulging in certain spots. An unsuspecting patron may not notice this problem and could fall over an unsafe spot in the carpet. The same is true for floor mats, which can bunch up and trip someone walking into or out of the business.
Lack of caution sign. In some cases, an accident could be avoided if the business simply displayed a caution sign to keep customers away from the hazard. A wet floor sign, for instance, could prevent a slip and fall because of something spilled that hasn’t yet been wiped up.
Take Action Now to Secure Your Right to Compensation
Don’t let a slip, trip and fall accident wreak havoc in your life. If you or a loved one has been injured on a small business property, you may have the right to pursue a premises liability claim. You have a trusted legal advocate in Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. Give us a call today.