When people have their own business, one of the most important things they need to keep in mind is the safety of their visitors. In most cases, this can be ensured by taking care of their property so that certain hazards do not arise and threaten a visitor’s safety. If they do not maintain their grounds, accidents can happen that have the potential to cause life-changing injuries to a visitor. These individuals can pursue legal action against a negligent business owner under premises liability law. Continue reading below to learn more.

What are the Three Legal Classes of Visitors?

There are three ways a visitor is classified under premises liability law. This includes:

  • Invitee: A person who comes onto a property due to an invitation. For businesses, the invitation is to exchange business for both parties’ benefit. 
  • Licensee: A guest who comes onto a property for personal, not to business or commercial, purposes. For example, a person invited to a house for dinner can be a licensee. Business visitors are almost always invitees and not licensees.
  • Trespasser: A person who comes onto a property without invitation and is violating trespassing laws. For example, a customer who does not leave when they are asked or a burglar. Business owners are not required to keep trespassers safe but cannot cause them harm on purpose.

What are Common Causes of Injury Claims?

Common causes of a personal injury accident on business property can include:

  • Slippery surfaces: Slip and fall accidents can be caused by rain, spills, wet or waxed floors, etc.
  • Faulty stairs and escalators: Broken railings, slippery steps, and mechanical failures can cause stairwell, elevator, and/or escalator accidents.
  • Falling merchandise: When an object falls off a shelf, it can injure employees and customers.
  • Physical obstacles: Poorly placed electrical cords, protruding furniture, floor mats or door moldings, door stops, fallen merchandise, etc. can result in injuries.
  • Inadequate lighting: Curbs, physical obstructions, steps, potholes, etc. may not be seen without quality lighting can cause accidents.
  • Parking lots: Concrete car stops, potholes, misdirected cars, uneven pavement, poor signage, construction, criminal activity, etc. can cause accidents.
  • Sidewalks: Broken, cracked, or uneven sidewalks can result in accidents. Business owners are not responsible for government-controlled sidewalks but can be liable for those adjacent to their business. 
  • Food poisoning: Customers can become sick as a result of poor food handling, poor storage, or the transmission of disease from employees. 

Contact our Firm

To discuss your case with our experienced Panama City personal injury attorneys, contact Manuel & Thompson, P.A. today for your free consultation.