Businesses that are open to the public, like movie theaters, retail shops and restaurants, have to take steps to prevent reasonably foreseeable injuries on their premises. Keeping the floors clean and dry is an important step toward maintaining safe premises and avoiding business liability when someone gets hurt.
Putting rugs down near an entrance is a way to absorb moisture that people may track in during rainy weather. They also help get dirt and dust off of people’s shoes that can cause a slipping hazard. However, the same rugs that may prevent a slip-and-fall incident could lead to a trip-and-fall injury instead.
How a rug becomes a hazard
The main way that a rug intended to promote safety causes injury is by creating an uneven surface. Especially when a business does not adequately secure the rug to the ground, it could become wrinkled or pull up around the edges, creating a tripping hazard.
All it takes is someone’s shoe caught on a raised wrinkle of a rug for that person to fall face forward, break their nose and suffer a mild concussion. Businesses need to ensure that the rugs they place to reduce the risk of people slipping are appropriate for the intended use. They also need to have their staff members check the rugs frequently for dryness, cleanliness and placement. If rugs get pulled up or damaged, then the company will need to remove or replace them.
Someone who trips because of a wrinkled or unsecured rug may have a premises liability claim just like someone who slipped over a puddle right in front of a business’s door. Understanding what creates premises liability at a business can help individuals dealing with an unusual situation that led to an injury.