Personal injury lawyers assume that you probably already know that if a person slips and falls at your business, you’re a prime target for a lawsuit. At the very least, you’ve probably seen the personal injury lawyer advertisements on daytime television that promise to hold businesses accountable for their negligence and get injured parties the money they deserve.
We are all familiar with these slip-and-fall cases. While they’re certainly the best-known instances of premises liability, they’re hardly the only ones. As a business owner, your responsibility for others’ injuries is far-reaching, covering everyone from employees to visitors to your next-door neighbor.
Most people who know it’s important to keep their employees and customers safe but aren’t aware of the full extent of their culpability. A better understanding of premises liability can not only reveal ways to improve workplace safety, but it can also help you avoid becoming the next case study for a personal injury ad.
Premises Liability 101
Regardless of whether you rent or own the building your business is located in, you’re responsible for whoever steps inside — from employees and customers to vendors and solicitors. Even trespassers have limited protection under premises liability law.
While your landlord may be sued for negligence in some instances, you will almost always shoulder the primary burden. In fact, most landlords include clauses in rental agreements that require tenants to assume full responsibility when it comes to maintaining the safety of the property. That means that if your landlord is sued, your business is on the hook for the incurred expenses.
Slip-and-fall incidents are just the tip of the iceberg. Many different scenarios fall under the umbrella of premises liability, including a visitor or an employee assaulting another visitor, a piece of equipment or merchandise injuring someone, or hazardous substances running off your property and onto a neighboring property. Basically, if you could have taken steps to prevent an injury or damage from occurring, you’re going to be held accountable by a personal injury lawyer.