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Premises liability lawsuits can follow slip-and-fall injuries

Property owners and managers in Hawaii must ensure that the public will be safe inside and outside the buildings they manage or own. To avoid premises liability lawsuits, they must develop effective programs to control safety exposure. Landlords and tenants of commercial properties must inspect premises regularly to identify situations and circumstances that can threaten the safety of the public, and then address those issues appropriately.

Premises liability lawsuits frequently follow slip or trip-and-fall accidents that happened on slippery surfaces due to uncleaned spills of liquids, polished stone or high-gloss finished floors. Unmarked changes in elevation, uneven surfaces and surfaces with holes or other signs of disrepair are equally hazardous. Poor lighting in walkways and stairwells can also cause falls with devastating consequences.

People inside buildings must also have safe passage out in the event of an emergency such as a fire. For that reason, exits must be clearly marked and not blocked by merchandise or other randomly stacked or stored objects. Property owners must also take reasonable steps to safeguard visitors to their premises from assault, robbery or any other criminal activity.

Residents of Hawaii -- or visiting tourists -- are entitled to expect to be safe when they move about the island. Any individual who suffers an injury on premises of a property owner may be entitled to pursue recovery of damages, depending upon whether evidence of negligence exists. This can be a challenging process, and an experienced premises liability attorney might be the best person to navigate such a claim. Proving negligence may be the most difficult part, but once that is established, the court will adjudicate documented claims for financial and other losses sustained.

Source: travelers.com, "Premises Security and Liability", Accessed on Aug. 4, 2017

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