When we head out for the day or night – to shop, to a movie, a restaurant, etc., – the last thing we usually think about is the risk we may have of being injured at a public location due to the negligence of a property owner. But the reality is that any public or private building we visit has the potential of hidden hazards that a negligent owner fails to address. This is obviously bad for consumers, but also business owners as a personal injury can lead to bankruptcy.
Building and Health Codes
Each municipality has its own building and health codes that all property owners must adhere to. There are different codes for residential properties than there are for commercial properties. While every city and town may have its own individual laws, the general point of the codes is to make sure that all visitors to the properties are protected from harm.
Yet far too may owners fail to abide by all of these codes and this creates situations where visitors to their properties end up suffering serious injuries in slip and fall or other type of premises liability accidents. If an owner fails to obey codes and a visitor is injured because of the hazard, the owner can be held legally liable for all the losses the victim’s injuries cause them.
The law understands that not all hazards can be repaired right away, however, this does not absolve the owner’s responsibility. If this is the situation, then the owner is required to post proper notice or signage to alert visitors to any hazards or potential hazards that may exist.
One other caveat to premises liability laws is that they only apply to people who have permission to be on the property. Anyone trespassing on the property who is injured would likely have a hard time proving negligence.
Frequent Code Violations and Premises Liability
The building and health codes owners must follow are extensive. These codes address construction, electrical, fire, heating, plumbing, sanitation, noise, and more. Some of the most common violations that end up resulting in injuries to visitors and others include:
- Loose or missing handrails on stairways
- Frayed carpeting
- Inadequate or missing lighting
- Broken or missing smoke detectors
- Exposed wiring or electrical outlets
- Broken steps
- Uneven pavement
- Leaking plumbing fixtures
- Debris or trash in hallways, walkways, etc.
If a victim is injured in any type of accident caused by faulty building codes, they are entitled to financial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, scarring, permanent disability, and more.
Legal Help Is Available
If you have been injured in an accident, is in your best interest to speak with an experienced premises liability lawyer to find out what legal options you may have against the party responsible for your injuries. Your lawyer will provide the professional legal guidance you need to ensure you get the maximum financial compensation you are entitled to in an insurance settlement or jury award. Thank you to our friends at Council & Associates, LLC for the information about premises liability claims.