As the COVID-19 pandemic begins to die down, more and more states are opening various businesses in phases. If your business is one to open, you should take all of the necessary precautions to ensure the grounds are safe for all who enter and leave. When a property owner does not take action to ensure his or her property is safe, people can become seriously injured and may file a premises liability lawsuit against that property owner. Please continue reading to learn more about premises liability claims and what you can do to prevent one.
What are the classifications of visitors?
There are three primary types of visitors, and they are as follows:
- Invitees: These are people who enter a property after being expressly invited by an employee, though the invitation does not have to be in writing. The purpose of the interaction is to conduct business for a mutual benefit.
- Licensee: This is when someone invites another party onto their property for personal reasons, such as to watch a game on tv or to have dinner.
- Trespasser: A trespasser is someone who enters a property without invitation, thus making them unlawfully on another person’s property. That being said, though you are not lawfully responsible for ensuring a trespasser’s safety, you may not purposefully harm them. This means if you catch someone on your property, you will have to warn them of any potential danger, such as if you have electrical fencing, alarms, a guard dog, or otherwise.
What are the most common types of premises liability claims?
If you are a business owner, you should understand the most common causes of accidents so you can thereby prevent them from happening. The most common types of premises liability claims our firm sees are as follows.
- Slippery surfaces: This can be due to spills left unattended, waxed floors, or even weather-related hazards such as rain or ice. These can all cause serious slip and falls.
- Defective stairs and escalators: These most commonly occur due to broken railings, defective/missing steps, and mechanical failures.
- Falling merchandise: This is most common in department stores/supermarkets where merchandise is stacked high.
- Inadequate lighting: This is extremely common in parking lots, sidewalks, alleyways, and the like. If you are someone who is walking along in a poorly lit area, you may not see potential safety hazards, such as ice or uneven pavement, and sustain a serious fall.
- Parking lots: Serious accidents happen every day due to uneven pavement, negligent signage, construction, misdirected cars, criminal activity, and more.
- Sidewalks: Business owners are not responsible for government-controlled sidewalks, however, they are responsible for ensuring any sidewalk they own is kept safe for all passersby.
- Food poisoning: This is most common in restaurants and supermarkets; when people eat food that the business should have known was expired or unsafe to eat, people can become violently sick.
CONTACT OUR EXPERIENCED MARYLAND FIRM
The legal team at Markey & Orsi has proudly represented injured clients throughout the state of Maryland for almost 30 years. If you have been injured due to another party’s negligence and require strong legal representation, contact Markey & Orsi today to schedule a consultation.