3 Keys To Avoiding Premises Liability Claims: Inspect, Correct, Warn
Premises liability claims are too costly to regard them as unavoidable expenses. Many corporations have learned the hard way that a six- or seven-figure settlement could have been avoided if their organization had implemented a preventive program and stuck to it.
While serving as a premises liability defense lawyer for more than 20 years, Katherine R. Moore has seen many instances in which a strong safety program has provided a viable defense to a personal injury claim. There are three main elements that must be present in a proactive program to fully protect your business.
Key #1: Inspect
Because property owners have a duty to warn visitors or customers of known hazards, your company must be aware of potential problems as soon as possible. If you have employees inspecting your property regularly, it becomes easier to document the state of your property and any potential problems.
Key #2: Correct
If an inspection turns up an unsafe condition, your company should have a well-documented and easy-to-implement system for dealing with it. In your operations materials, specify who is to repair the damage, how it will be paid for and how to contact the designated repair person.
Key #3: Warn
If immediate repair is not possible, you must have a procedure to warn visitors/customers. Examples include posting signs explaining the danger and discouraging entering the area, and/or taping off the area to prevent access.
Training And Discipline: Two Other Important Tools
If you develop all three elements of the “Inspect, Correct, Warn” system on paper, but never show employees how to implement it, your system will not aid your premises liability defense. It is important to provide training on this system, as well as to provide progressive discipline if employees fail to carry out the components of the system properly.
Learn More About Avoiding Premises Liability Claims
Wondering if your organization is at risk of being part of a premises liability lawsuit? Call The Law Office of Katherine R. Moore at 650-399-0752 for evaluation and guidance, or use our online intake form to get in touch with an attorney. We serve clients in Redwood City and the Bay Area, as well as across much of the rest of California.