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Is a business owner always responsible for dangerous conditions?

On Behalf of | Nov 30, 2023 | BUSINESS & COMMERCIAL LAW - Business & Commercial Law

As a business owner, you certainly do have an obligation to provide a safe space for customers and others who are in your retail location. If you fail in this obligation, demonstrating negligence even though there was no intent to cause harm, injuries that happen on the premises could be the fault of the business.

But this is certainly not true in every single case where someone gets injured on business property.

The thing to remember is that a business owner is obligated to repair any known dangers or alleviate any known risks. They also have to take reasonable steps to discover these types of dangers or hazards. But there are situations in which a business owner can’t reasonably know about the danger until the injury occurs, and they could not have prevented it. There may also be cases where customers themselves act dangerously or negligently, causing their own injuries.

How can business owners avoid liability?

One of the best ways that business owners can avoid being responsible for injuries is to just continuously inspect the property to look for any hazards. They need to do proper maintenance and upkeep and make repairs on schedule. They should keep detailed records of these repairs, especially when a clear hazard has been fixed.

Not only does this actively lower the odds that an injury will happen in the first place, by allowing you to respond to any hazards that you find, but it also gives you a paper trail showing that you were not negligent in ignoring the issues on the property. If you still find your business facing a lawsuit or allegations after someone is hurt on the premises, be sure you know what legal steps to take at that time.