Business owners in New Jersey and around the country are expected to take all reasonable steps to ensure that their facilities are safe for both workers and visitors. Employees will usually file workers' compensation claims if they are injured while on the job, but vendors, customers, and even trespassers may sue. While liability insurance will generally cover the damages awarded in lawsuits filed by visitors, business owners could greatly reduce their chances of facing litigation by putting effective safety policies into place.
Premises liability lawsuits are most commonly filed after visitors suffer injuries in slip-and-fall accidents. Business hoping to avoid this type of litigation should inspect their facilities regularly and address any safety concerns promptly. They should also encourage their workers to report unsafe conditions, and the reporting procedures they follow should be streamlined, straightforward and direct. Business owners in northern states like New Jersey should be particularly vigilant in the winter months when conditions can rapidly become treacherous due to accumulations of snow or ice.
Business owners should also take steps to protect their visitors from criminals. Premises liability lawsuits may be filed if visitors have been accosted, assaulted or robbed due to inadequate security. Steps to reduce criminal activity include placing security cameras prominently and putting up signs indicating that the facility is being monitored. Business owners should also ensure that all stairways, corridors and parking lots are adequately lit.
The defendants in premises liability lawsuits often make arguments based on contributory negligence. Experienced personal injury attorneys seeking compensation for accident victims may anticipate this kind of defense strategy, and they could gather evidence to demonstrate that even extreme vigilance may not have been enough to avoid injury, loss or damage. This evidence could include photographs of the facility concerned, witness statements or surveillance camera footage and the defendants track record of lax oversight or inadequate maintenance.