Whether you visit a coworker in a large apartment complex or swing by your local big box store to pick up some paper towels, you don’t expect a visit to public facilities to end in injury. Like most people, you presume that the property owner or business manager will take good care of the facility.
Unfortunately, inadequate maintenance and security are issues that leave people hurt every day in the United States. While you can’t just avoid visiting facilities that you don’t personally own and maintain, you can still reduce your risk of getting hurt on someone else’s property. Recognizing the most dangerous spaces in public facilities can help you be more cautious in those areas.
Right where you enter a building is one of the most dangerous places. People tend to brush off their shoes on the rugs and shake off any water from rain right when they get inside. That could mean that the floor is either dirty or wet, either of which could lead to a slip-and-fall incident.
If those managing the facilities don’t take care to put down slip-resistant rugs and keep the floors both clean and dry, you might end up falling before you even really enter the space.
There are few times that you are more physically vulnerable than when you climb or descend stairs. You have to repeatedly shift your center of gravity and lift your body. Anything from a loose guardrail to a tear in the carpet might mean taking a tumble.
Property owners and landlords who don’t adequately maintain stairways could directly contribute to injuries suffered by visitors, residents, customers and employees.
A significant number of car crashes occur in parking lots every year. Drivers can crash into another vehicle because they don’t pay adequate attention or might even strike a pedestrian or cyclist. Vehicles aren’t the only risk in the parking lot. If there aren’t light or security cameras, you may be at higher-than-normal risk of becoming a victim of crime or simply stumbling over a break in the pavement.
Businesses open to the public and property managers alike should strive to identify risk factors at their facilities. Taking steps to minimize the risk of each visitor by properly maintaining and cleaning space is important.
When people get hurt due to a lack of maintenance or other obvious forms of negligence, like inadequate lighting or security, they may have grounds for a premises liability claim. Recognizing risk factors that landlords can control can help you determine if you have grounds for an insurance claim or civil lawsuit.