Premises Liability: When Shop Owners Fail to Clean Up

December 27, 2015

With inclement weather fast approaching, including rainy weather, and eventually even snow, owners of businesses in South Carolina must be significantly more conscientious regarding the upkeep, maintenance, repair, and monitoring of their respective premises. The complacency of business owners in doing so can lead to situations that may increase the likelihood of customers, patrons, and visitors, injuring themselves by way of slips, tripping over uneven payment, or falling as a result of any number of hazards. As a result, shop owners need to not only be actively cognizant of such issues, but can and should employ a number of safeguards to minimize potential premises liability related issues.

Choosing a Safe Location

Often times, the first step in minimizing premises liability issues is in selecting an ideal, safe, and environmentally friendly business location. The U.S. Small Business Administration provides business owners various tips for doing so, including, for instance, evaluating the crime rate in the area, zoning regulations, and even the amount of upkeep, maintenance, repairs, and other work that may be required as business owner of a particular location.

Schedule Lot Inspections

Another measure that business owners can employ is to implement regular, consistent, and scheduled lot inspections, which includes evaluating any and all potential premises liability-related issues, whether it be cracks in a walkway, areas where water may accumulate on store floors, or seeking to find loose handrails that require repair. The key for business owners in this regard is to always be actively evaluating the premises from the perspective of a consumer, and where the consumer may likely be at risk of harm as a result. In fact, many businesses use what is commonly referred to as a premises liability worksheet, which includes various questions and a checklist by which a business may be able to identify and evaluate potential issues.  

Use Cameras to Understand Hazards

One of the most effective and significant measures being used by business owners is the use of cameras to document activity both within and outside of the store’s premises. This serves a number of purposes including, most importantly, security, but also documenting and otherwise having the ability to confirm if a particular alleged injury by a consumer occurred a certain way. The use of video evidence is very effective in assisting business owners to fully determine whether a premise based accident was the fault of neglect by the business owner, or whether the individual alleging such harm contributed to his or her injuries, possibly by not seeing a clearly marked warning sign, or by using the business premises in a way that it was not intended.

Contact a Skilled Civil Litigator for Help

Unfortunately, many business owners will fail to take these measures, which may lead to devastating injuries on their property. If you have suffered a slip and fall or other injury at a business, or you are facing a slip and fall claim, it is imperative that you contact an attorney for assistance today. The Connell Law Firm, LLC has seasoned and experienced attorneys who are prepared to assist you throughout your claim. Reach out to us today for help.