When you enter a Florida business, you can usually assume that you are reasonably safe from harm or injury. However, dangers still lurk in the most mundane spaces. Slips, trips, and falls are the most common causes of injuries at businesses.
Here are four ways Florida business should ensure your slips trips and falls safety.
Business Should Ensure Walkways Are Clear of Debris
You shouldn’t have to avoid puddles or broken sidewalks to navigate Florida businesses. In addition to the business itself, entry points to and from the business, including parking structures, also should be accessible and free of debris.
If you slip and trip on a “transitory foreign substance” at Florida business, state law says that you must prove the business should have known about the issue and taken action to fix it. A transitory foreign substance is any object, solid or liquid, that is in a place it shouldn’t be. This could range from construction debris to liquid leaking out of a fridge.
Though slips, trips, and falls may not sound especially dangerous, they can cause traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and other serious injuries.
Business Should Have Adequate Lighting and Security
Low lighting makes it difficult to navigate businesses that may have uneven terrain, including steps or loose carpeting. A lack of adequate lighting doesn’t help to protect your slips, trips, and falls safety and may also create opportunities for visitors to become victims of criminal behavior.
Certain businesses in Florida also are subject to security requirements such as silent alarms or security cameras.
Staircases Should Have Handrails
Businesses should outfit staircases with hand or guardrails. Any other structures, such as escalators, that create a danger of falling also should offer visitors a way to steady themselves as they traverse potentially uneven ground.
Elevators Should Be Regularly Maintained
Poorly-maintained elevators expose visitors to the risk of severe injury or death. Businesses should ensure their elevators are working and in good condition out of a reasonable duty of care for visitor safety.
If an elevator is out of service, Florida businesses should provide signs alerting you to the issue and directing you to a staircase or another elevator.
What if a business endangers your slip, trip, and fall safety?
Business and property owners are required to take action and warn you of potential dangers and then correct those dangers if possible.
You’ve probably seen signs warning about wet floors at your local Publix, which shows the business owners and workers took care to alert you to the potential danger and ensured your slips, trips, and falls, safety. Businesses also may offer alternative routes for pathways that feature substandard conditions.
Businesses also must stay up to date on requirements for a variety of business and building standards, including construction, electrical, and plumbing. If there are hanging wires or other obvious structure issues, the business may not be up to state building codes, which would open it up to further liability.
If a business’s negligence led you to slip, trip, or fall, you may be able to sue for compensation to cover medical bills and other costs.
Have you suffered an injury at a Florida business?
Florida businesses are subject to premises liability, which means they can be held responsible for any injuries you suffer while visiting their establishment. Premises liability law says that business and property owners owe you a “common-law duty of care,” which means they must take reasonable measures to ensure your safety.
Premises liability laws are complex, require specific evidence, and have few exceptions. A Florida premises liability attorney will know your options and how best to handle your case.
Contact Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath today for a free case evaluation.