When you go walk into a Michigan store, your thoughts tend to revolve around finding the items that meet your needs. It’s very unlikely that many people are thinking about being injured in a slip-and-fall accident while they’re shopping.
Property owners should be thinking about ways to prevent slips, trips and falls and the painful injuries that can result. Proactive owners and managers of stores, shops and restaurants often rely on the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) for recommendations for flooring materials that dramatically reduce the risk of injuries to members of the public while they’re shopping.
The nonprofit organization tests and certifies products that help keep floors dry and customers safe.
The NFSI also tracks slip-and-fall statistics and related data, including the following:
Of course, not all slip-and-fall accidents occur in stores, restaurants and shops. Far too often, the incidents happen in the parking lots of those facilities, while still others happen in a residential setting.
There are also slip-and-fall legal claims involving disputes between landlords and their tenants.
Under Michigan law, the property owner has a duty to make “reasonable efforts” to make the premises “reasonably safe” for visitors and customers. However, if the property condition that caused the injuries is “open and obvious” (meaning that the hazard could be seen with casual observation), the property owner might not be liable for those injuries.
That doesn’t mean that property owners can dodge all responsibility for open and obvious hazards. There’s still the matter of owners being required to make “reasonable efforts.” If the owner didn’t make those efforts to remedy a dangerous condition, it’s possible for the injured person to receive full compensation for damages.