The issues that lead to premises liability claims against property owners and businesses aren’t always the result of choices made by a property owner or business. For example, someone who has been injured in a slip-and-fall might try filing a claim after another customer at a store spilled something, resulting in an injury.
However, there are other scenarios in which the unsafe conditions that lead to someone’s injury are directly related to a property owner’s decisions. These are two common ways that business and property owners may put visitors at risk of trip and fall injuries.
1. Cheap or poorly-anchored rugs
It is considered a basic safety measure to put down absorbent rugs near entranceways at businesses, as both dirt and precipitation tracked in by visitors can lead to people falling and increase the overall maintenance obligations for the staff at the business.
However, rugs should be thick and absorbent enough to do their job, and they often require appropriate anchoring systems so that they don’t curl up or become wrinkled. Rugs are themselves a tripping hazard and can easily lead to people getting hurt. If better maintenance or higher-quality rugs would have prevented an injury, the property owner could have liability for someone’s trip-and-fall related to wrinkled or soaked rugs.
2. Temporary electrical supply
Perhaps a candy company brought in a new display with an animated LED screen built into the cardboard face. Maybe the owner just acquired a new refrigeration unit they want to fill with specialty beverages. Power cords are a tripping hazard for anyone who encounters them. They can get tangled under people’s feet and around shopping cart wheels, potentially leading to severe injury. Businesses and property owners should carefully cover or secure power cords so that they are not in walkways where they could pose a hazard to members of the public.
When someone who trips and falls at a business or property can show that the owner did something unsafe that caused their injury, they may be in a position to pursue an insurance claim and/or lawsuit. Speaking with an attorney about premises liability is often the first step that an injury victim takes in pursuit of a successful outcome.