Accidents and injuries can happen anywhere, and there is no reason to believe that businesses are immune to them. On the contrary, there are plenty of people that get injured every year while visiting a business, be it a retail store, a grocery store, a movie theater, a restaurant, or any other.
Why are most lawsuits filed against businesses?
The main reason why businesses are sued by injured customers is negligence. This means that if the business does not provide an environment to its customers that is safe, the customer may end up getting injured as a result of this negligence. If this is your case, you may be able to seek to recover compensation for the damages and injuries you suffered.
What is the duty of care?
In order for any business to be successful and continue having its doors open, it is expected that customers need to come into the premises and acquire whatever is being offered for sale there.
Therefore, there is a duty of care by the business towards the people that come in contact with it. It is expected that they should provide a reasonably safe environment for those who visit. How reasonable depends on the type of visitor.
Invitees are those who come into the business for the owner’s financial gain. That is why customers are considered invitees and are owed the highest duty of care, keeping them safe from any known or preventable dangers. For them, the owner or manager of the property has a duty to periodically inspect the premises to ensure their safety.
These are individuals who are allowed to visit a property for a limited reason. In the case of a business, it could be somebody who asks if they could use the restroom and do so. They are also owed the duty of being warned of any danger that may be present.
These are individuals that do not have either the expressed or the implied permission to be inside a property. Although they are not owed any duty of care by the property owner, they also should not have to face dangers when on the property.
What is considered a reasonable standard for businesses?
The courts understand that a reasonable standard should be exhibited by any business when it comes to duty of care. Its aim is to achieve a balance between setting extremely burdensome standards that should prevent absolutely every single possible accident and keeping the public safe.
Acting in a reasonable manner for a business might mean that:
- The business has established and follows a procedure that calls for frequent and periodic inspections of the premises in order to identify potential hazards for customers
- The business should adopt a cleaning schedule to prevent slip and fall accidents
- Customers should be warned of dangers by appropriate signage surrounding the danger
- Under wet weather conditions, mats should be placed at all entry points
- Known defects should be promptly repaired
Have you been injured in a business?
You will have to prove that a breach of the duty of care existed and that this is why you were harmed. Just being injured in a store is not enough. The store must have done something to cause your injury.
Visit realjustice.com to understand how to sue a business for personal injury.