In general, property owners can be held accountable for the accidents they reasonably could have prevented. For example, property owners can be held accountable when injuries result from their failure to clean up spills or to repair dangerous conditions on their property. Property owners could also be held liable when they fail to warn visitors, guests or tenants about dangerous conditions. Incidents that may result in premises liability claims include:
- Slip-and-fall accidents involving spills or wet floors that were not properly mopped. A freshly mopped floor in a public location must always be accompanied by a “wet floor” warning sign.
- Trip-and-fall accidents involving debris that was carelessly left in walkways.
- Accidents involving broken staircases, malfunctioning elevators and uneven surfaces.
- Building fires that occur as a result of the property owner’s failure to equip the building with sprinklers when required and smoke alarms or a failure to make sure that these safety devices are in good working order.
- Criminal acts that resulted from a failure to provide adequate security. Examples include lack of surveillance cameras, inadequate lighting, defective doors or window locks.
- Sidewalk accidents that could have been prevented had the building owner or responsible party repaired the damaged or uneven walkway.
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