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Slip and falls on small business properties: an overview

Slip-and-fall accidents are behind many premises liability claims in Georgia. Small business owners must ensure a reasonably safe property under premises liability law, so they will want to review the following information. First of all, even those who are renting a property have a duty of care to entrants, and these can include customers, vendors and employees. Trespassers are partially protected.

The duty of care consists of maintaining a reasonably safe property free of dangerous conditions. Examples of dangerous conditions include potholes, broken sidewalks, narrow or poorly lit staircases, debris, wet floors and torn carpet. Building code violations also create dangerous conditions. Owners must fix such conditions within a reasonable amount of time, and if this cannot be done, they should set up warning signs or barriers.

Victims, for their part, must prove that the owner was aware of a condition and negligent in doing nothing about it. In addition, it must be shown that the condition was unanticipated and that victims themselves were acting reasonably, not carelessly.

Owners are encouraged to conduct regular inspections of their businesses together with co-workers. They must rectify all dangerous conditions or set up the appropriate indications if this cannot be done immediately. They could also pay around $500 for a commercial general liability insurance policy, which covers them for up to $1 million.

When the owner's negligence is to blame for a slip and fall, victims can file a premises liability claim, but they will want legal assistance. A lawyer could evaluate the case and ensure that the grounds are good. Investigators and medical experts from the lawyer's network can come in to strengthen the case. Once the incident report and pertinent evidence has been gathered, an attorney could negotiate for a settlement covering medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and other losses.

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