Slip and fall accidents often result in personal injury lawsuits brought against small businesses and their owners. Such accidents can occur indoors or outdoors and are often the result of a customer tripping over an object or slipping on a wet or damaged surface. Torn carpet, broken sidewalks and icy steps are examples of conditions that may precipitate a slip or fall.
Business owners have a duty to keep their premises safe. Otherwise, they may be held legally responsible for accidents that occur. However, not all slip and fall accidents are the fault of the business and its owners. For instance, a customer may become distracted and trip over an object that was easily avoidable.
To guard against trip and fall accidents and personal injury lawsuits, business owners should have a plan in place where employees look for and eliminate potential safety hazards. Premise inspections should be conducted on a routine basis. If a potentially dangerous condition is discovered, it should be rectified immediately. Both the routine inspections and any rectification measures taken should be documented thoroughly. If an unsafe condition is discovered that will take some time to repair, warning signs should be posted.
Even with such a plan in place, it is still possible for a slip and fall accident to occur, which could result in a lawsuit. This means that the business and its owners could end up paying for such things as the customer's medical bills and lost wages. Depending on the particular circumstances, the injured party may also be able to collect for pain and suffering and recover their legal costs. However, an attorney with experience in slip and fall accidents may be able to negotiate a settlement or show that the business and its owners were not at fault.