Premises Liability on Commercial Property

man laying on a couch with a broken foot or ankle, cast on lower leg with crutch propped against couch, commercial injury or premises liability concept

Did you know that you can hold commercial property owners responsible for any injuries you suffer from due to unsafe conditions on their property? Under commercial building premises liability, anyone who is lawfully on a commercial property must be provided with a safe environment.

Negligent Behavior and Premises Liability

According to local, state, and federal laws, it's the commercial property owner's responsibility to consistently check their premises for potentially hazardous conditions, fix the issues they find, or warn people with signage. Failure to do so is considered "negligent behavior" and can be argued in court.

There are different types of commercial premises liability cases to be aware of. These can include:

  • Faulty equipment
  • Electrocution
  • Defective sidewalks, walkways, or stairwells
  • Insufficient security
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Elevator and escalator accidents
  • Falling or swinging objects

What if the Business Owner isn't the Property Owner?

Even if the business owner doesn't own their building, they are still responsible for safety concerns. In the event of a hazard on the property, they should contact the building owner and put up signage until the issue is resolved.

The question of who can be held liable for an accident in this instance is a gray area. Different states have different laws about responsibility in these situations. Typically, the occupant is responsible, as they are more aware of repairs that need to be done. However, if they have it in their lease agreement that the landlord will make repairs, then the landlord can be held responsible if they don't make repairs in a timely manner.

If you've been injured and are filing a lawsuit in a situation like this, it may be a good idea to include both the landlord and the occupant in the lawsuit. Your attorney can help you determine the right approach.

Steps to Take if You're Injured on a Commercial Property

If you are injured on a business's property, there are a few steps you can take to help your legal case. You're going to need to demonstrate that your injuries were a direct result of hazardous conditions that the commercial property owner neglected to fix or warn you about. Here are some ways to go about doing that.

Document the Incident

It's important to report the incident to an authority figure (like a manager or supervisor) at the commercial property. We recommend not just telling them but actually asking them to fill out an accident/incident report describing exactly what happened. Then write down the name and job role of the person you talked to and keep that on hand for your case.

Gather Evidence

You're going to want as much documentation as you can get. Take photos of the scene (your injury and the culprit) immediately and get the contact information and/or signed statements from witnesses who saw your accident take place. The company is going to do everything they can to discredit your claim, so you want to be prepared with evidence.

If possible, ask the business to provide you with any CCTV footage during the time of the incident. Surveillance systems typically have a limit on how long they store the footage for and obtaining it the day of your accident can help ensure it's not lost before you're able to present it in legal proceedings.

Go to the Hospital or Urgent Care Immediately Following Your Accident

There are many types of injuries that can happen on commercial properties and you're going to want those injuries well documented by a medical professional on the date you obtained them. Common injuries from commercial property accidents can include:

  • Head and brain injuries
  • Dislocated limbs
  • Broken bones
  • Bruising or internal bleeding
  • Lacerations and puncture wounds
  • Burns
  • Muscular injuries

File an Insurance Claim

Filing an insurance claim against the responsible party can help initiate the financial recovery process. Injuries aren't cheap, and you're likely going to need financial coverage. Before you accept any insurance settlement, have a premises liability lawyer at Cooney & Conway look it over to ensure the insurance company is offering a fair settlement for your injuries. Many insurance companies want to save money and will likely try to downplay your injuries and losses.

Why You Should Consult with a Premises Liability Lawyer

A premises liability lawyer at Cooney & Conway can assist you with your injury claim from start to finish. We are experienced in handling accidents on commercial properties and we understand how to navigate them to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. Fill out a free case evaluation to get started.