Why Uneven Concrete can Harm your Businessby Max Ruby I write as I see it
Trips and falls are a daily occurrence and when it comes to liability the finger is usually pointed at the property owner - even if they have nothing to do with the cause of the issue! The law can be notoriously tricky when it comes to proportioning fair blame. While property owners are unlikely to be financially liable if someone slips on their outdoors concrete surface when it has been raining, if that surface happens to be uneven or potentially a trip hazard then they'll have real difficulty fighting a fair defense. After all - who can prove the difference between a slip and a trip?
Conjecture aside it is important for business owners to take care to ensure that their concrete surfaces are well maintained - and remember that you need to protect your employees as well as customers and visitors to your location. Here are the main legal concerns that business owners need to be aware of when it comes to parking lot leveling. They need to be mindful of keeping their concrete safe for use and fit for purpose.
How Liability is Determined
Many business owners (often quite fairly) can claim that it is not their fault that their parking lots/connected sidewalks have decayed through wear and tear. Cracks and potholes may just be 'one of those things' but that is not necessarily how the law may see them. Be aware that the law is extremely ambiguous here and it can be very difficult to defend against. There are three ways that a company owner can be successfully sued for damages:
1) If they caused the problem directly. This is not usually applicable - business owners tend not to create potholes to ward of their customers! But it is something to consider when temporary works are being done so keep those warning posts in position!
2) If they know about the problem but ignore it. This is the big one and probably the most common reason why defenses fail. It is almost impossible for a property owner to not be aware of damage to their concrete surfaces - but all too often the problem is indeed ignored. There is almost no effective defense against this argument unless the problem suddenly appears that very moment. Plaintiffs can usually prove that the issues have been there for a long time and have others back up their testimony.
3) Understanding it is dangerous. Business owners are legally obliged to make sure people are safe visiting/using their property. The keyword here is the use of 'reasonable' in the legal definition. If someone claims to have tripped and hurt themselves over a minuscule crack then they'll usually fail (but not always!). The issue is much more a problem when there are clear issues - perhaps a crumbling or sunken front step or parking lot as these have legal definitions of what constitutes damaged.
Without becoming bogged down in too much legal jargon the point is that once someone has claimed liability for injuries caused by your inadequately maintained concrete surface it is very difficult to argue against.
Effective Concrete Repair for Businesses
Commercial concrete repair/lifting can usually be very quick and surprisingly affordable. Modern methods allow for work to be completed within just a few hours, and tend to be able to prevent downtime. By keeping your property well maintained you'll not only enjoy a more professional and appealing setting but also have the advantage of being able to prove that you maintain your property. High-quality professional commercial concrete leveling should last for many years and require very little else to demonstrate that your business has protected visitors/customers from any trips or falling hazards caused by reasonable wear and tear. The average cost to a business for a slip/fall leading to personal injury is between $30-40,000 each time. Professional concrete repair will cost an absolute fraction of that amount.
Created on Nov 22nd 2019 13:06. Viewed 290 times.