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Fall Accident Liability: Making Sure Your Property is Safe

There are few things more exciting than buying a property.

Whether it’s a home or a business, once your name is on the deed you’ve taken on more than the title of owner: you also have taken on a big responsibility to maintain the property in a way that ensures that those who enter the property will be safe. Though you certainly are not going to be considered negligent if somebody trips over their own feet, you will be considered negligent if you’ve ignored a hazard, or failed to pay close enough attention to know that it is there. As owner, you have what is referred to as a duty of care. It’s why property owners are expected to maintain insurance coverage, but your obligation doesn’t stop there: you also need to be proactive in identifying dangers and taking action to address them.

You might not think that your property presents any problems, and perhaps it doesn’t. A good way to make sure of this is to start with some basics. Make it a habit to walk around your property inside and out with an eye to what could pose a problem. Maybe there are tree roots that are sticking up or a broken sidewalk that somebody could easily trip over. Maybe your business’ parking lot has large holes in it or your outside lights aren’t working.  By walking around and looking for problems you can make sure that they are addressed quickly.

In addition to general problems such as debris or items in need of repair, there are other areas that are notoriously the cause of many fall accidents. These include walkways and stairwells. If you own a building that people enter and exit on a regular basis, you also need to be aware of slippery floors which can lead to dangerous slip and fall accidents. When it is raining or there is ice or snow on the ground, you need to take extra precautions to make sure that people are made aware of the hazard through warning signs and that you’re being diligent about getting the walkways dry quickly. The same is true of debris that can fall on the floor or that may be left behind by other visitors, or even by employees. All walkways should be well lit and kept clear of things that anybody can trip and fall over, and flooring should be checked regularly to ensure that it is well maintained and doesn’t need repair.

Checking your property on a regular basis to avoid fall accidents may feel unnecessary, but it can go a long way towards protecting you from liability.

If you’ve been injured by a fall accident caused by negligence, contact the Baldante & Rubenstein team today!