Slip-and-falls are common everywhere and can be very costly for everyone involved. Inclement weather increases the risk of a slip-and-fall significantly, whether that is ice, snow, or rain. In addition, accidents due to spilled liquids on aisles in grocery stores are common.
Property and business owners must never forget that they have a legal obligation to care for the parts of their property that people may walk or pass through.
In the case of businesses, the legal obligation extends to inside the premises. Do not wait long after a spill inside your grocery store. Ensure your employees know that slippery floors must be closed off with appropriate signage and dried immediately to prevent an accident.
Slip-and-fall injuries can be severe and traumatic and cause life-threatening injuries. In addition to the physical risks of:
- Brain injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Broken bones
- Sprains and cuts
Slip-and-falls can cause significant distress and emotional trauma to the individual. It can also cause them to be unable to work or make a living. Sometimes, it causes permanent disabilities that they must live with forever. In the worst cases, a slip-and-fall can lead to death.
Who can be liable?
In New York state, if the owner of a parcel creates a dangerous situation that leads to an individual suffering an injury on the owner’s property, the owner could be held liable. Under state law, anyone who owns or leases a parcel must ensure that it is safe, including individuals who occupy or manage the property.
Presence of the owner is not required for liability purposes
Under New York law, the courts examine whether the parcel owner knew or should have known of the unsafe condition, had a reasonable time to fix it, and did not. If such actions led to an individual’s injuries, the court might find the property owner liable for the victim’s injuries.
Slip-and-fall injuries are serious and it is critical for business owners to understand just how much could be at stake in a slip-and-fall when there is plenty of possibility for one.