Business owners in Georgia, as elsewhere in the U.S., know what it can mean for them if a customer slips and falls on their property. Such an accident could be attributed to the business owner’s negligence and lead to the victim filing a premises liability claim. In the end, whether the victim receives a settlement or not, the business owner will have to spend time and money on a legal defense.

This is why preventing slip and falls is so important. Business owners should take into account every object that can pose a trip hazard. If there are stairs on the property, they should make sure the railings aren’t loose. After mopping hard floors, employers should make sure that signs are put out.

Providing a safe environment for customers is part of the employer’s duty of care. This extends to maintenance of carpeting and sidewalks, such as checking for large cracks. Waiting too long to address an issue will be considered a breach of this duty.

Costs can add up, starting with the premises liability insurance. Even a one-person business will pay about $500 or more annually for this insurance. There are also the costs associated with training employees, making repairs and putting out signs. Unfortunately, business owners can do everything in their power and still be faced with lawsuits.

Victims, for their part, may wish to consult with a lawyer to determine if the slip and fall was truly a preventable accident. Lawyers usually have a large caseload, so they might not represent victims who were negligent themselves. If the lawyer finds that the case is a strong one, he or she might hire professionals to gather proof, such as the incident report and any surveillance camera footage. The lawyer may then be able to negotiate for a settlement or litigate if one cannot be agreed upon.