Slip and fall accidents are very common in the courts, and thousands are processed each and every year in the United States. Even more, slip and fall cases are fodder for the courts around the world. In some cases, they’re even the reason that a small business may have to close their doors and pack up for good.
While you may feel somewhat helpless as a business owner, since you obviously have to clean your floors, there are few things that you can do. For many businesses, the simple answer is to use basic ‘Wet Floor’ signs that will let customers know that they could be in danger.
However, what are businesses to do if a customer or employee slips on a wet floor or otherwise hurts themselves in their space? The answers aren’t always as simple as they seem, but there are ways you can protect yourself.
Use this guide to make sure that you and your business is covered in case anyone gets hurt in your office or retail space. Otherwise you could end up having to close your doors or start all over again with very little money.
Clean When Closed
It might sound really obvious to a lot of small business owners, but it’s obviously your best bet to do your major cleaning when people aren’t working in your office or shopping in your retail store. Even if you do your cleaning yourself because you run a small store, do it when you’re closed in the morning or evening.
That way you don’t have to worry about anybody slipping or falling that doesn’t work for your company. You can also block off the area if it’s a typically high volume space so nobody can walk on it.
Even if you do most of your cleaning when your office or store is closed, you still need to take other steps to protect yourself.
Always Use Signage
Doing as much of your cleaning as you can when there’s nobody around is always a good idea, whether you do the cleaning yourself or employ a janitor or entire crew. The fewer people around during the cleaning process the less likely you are to have a problem or an injury each time you clean.
However, even if you do your cleaning at a low traffic time, you may still have employees coming in and out or customers moving around in your store. There are also going to be times when you’re forced to do some cleaning in order to make the environment safe again. For example, an employee may spill a cup of coffee in the lobby or a customer could drop something in your retail store.
In those cases, it is important to use signage that lets employees and customers know that the floors are wet or that they could be a potential slipping hazard. What’s even more important than simply using the signs is making sure that they’re actually in the right place though.
When you’re playing ‘Wet Floor’ signs, make sure they’re clearly visible from any point where somebody might enter the area. In a large space like a building lobby, that can require more than one or two signs.
You’ll also want to place signs toward the center of the wet area since somebody walking through may have their vision focused on where they are going – not right in front of them. When it comes to potential slip and fall accidents, you don’t want to take any risks.
If you do cut corners with signage you could be out a lot of money if a lawsuit comes across your desk.
Are You Recording?
One of the things your attorney is likely going to ask you if you are ever brought into court because of a slip and fall case is simple: Were you recording when the accident happened? That’s right – many employers actually record the area where cleaning is to happen, though you won’t be doing this only when you’re cleaning if your smart.
The same security cameras that you use – or should be using – can help to make sure that you are covered if anybody is ever injured on your property. Simply having those cameras recording the fact that you had signs out can keep a complaint from going to court or costing you any money at all.
Just make sure that the cameras can see your signs when you’re cleaning floors or a spill has occurred.
The National Safety Council estimates that nearly 5,900 pedestrians are killed each year in the United States because of motor vehicle accidents. While that number might seem high, pedestrian accidents are a serious and unnecessary problem. Unfortunately, if you’ve been in a pedestrian accident, it is something you’ll have to deal with sooner rather than later, especially if you were the driver of the car.
While an experienced bail bondsman can help get you out of hot water initially, you’ll need to understand more about how pedestrian accident cases work than your bail bondsman will tell you.
Use this brief guide to help get a handle on what’s going to happen after a pedestrian accident and what you should be doing to protect yourself:
Know Who is At Fault
In most cases, the blame is going to be put on the driver when a pedestrian accident occurs. After all, we’ve all heard that the pedestrian always has the right of way. While that is true in cases where drivers run stop lights or pull into a crosswalk, pedestrians can be at fault in an accident as well. For example, if the driver was simply driving along and a person walks into the street, even the most cautious driver may not be able to avoid an accident.
Don’t Leave the Scene
If you’re involved in a pedestrian accident as a driver the worst thing you can do is to leave the scene. When you do that, it’s basically like telling everyone involved that you are guilty and responsible for the accident – even if you aren’t. Leaving the scene of an accident, even if you were at fault, may also turn a basic case that is simply an accidental occurrence into manslaughter or a hit and run case, with more severe consequences.
Even the most law abiding citizens can wind up in jail at some point over a poor decision. That’s why it helps to find an expert bondsman in such an unfortunate situation. The key is to cooperate with law enforcement without incriminating yourself. You will be released much faster after you are booked if you do not create extra problems. A licensed reputable bail bonds company can help accelerate your release.
Finding the Right Bondsman
You will be entitled to at least one phone call after your arrest. Make sure the call is either to a friend, attorney or bondsman who can help your situation. If the call is not to a bondsman, have the person you do contact search for a reputable bondsman. Here are some items to look for:
- The bail bonds company is open 24 hours and can help during off hours.
- How experienced is the company locally?
- Is there an agent located near the jail?
- Do they have a reputation for getting people out of jail quickly?
- Is an agent easy to contact on the phone?
Bail Bond Details
There’s a chance that someone looking for a bail bondsman on your behalf will be a cosigner on the bond. In that case they will be responsible for paying the amount due if you skip bail. The most important information that the bondsman will collect includes name, social security number, the arresting entity, the charges and the bond amount.
In the event of high bail, or if the bail bondsman believes the defendant will skip bail, the bondsman can ask for a guarantee such as property equal in value to the bond. Not all bondsman will make this request, so it helps to shop around. Whoever is researching bail bonds should ask about the company’s recovery rate.
The American justice system was founded on the simple principal that all defendants in court are innocent until proven guilty. This means that the burden of proof is on the prosecution. This presumed innocence means that some defendants do not need to suffer punishment until a verdict is handed down. Sometimes defendants are held in jail while waiting for their trial to begin. This is where the bondsman comes in.
In some cases, the general public’s safety must be taken into account. For serious crimes such as homicide, the defendant is deemed a flight risk or a danger to the public and thus must be held in jail while awaiting trial. However the vast majority of defendants does not pose this risk and may be released on bail until their day in court. Bondsmen assure that these defendants get the rights they deserve and ensure that no punishments reach their clients until a verdict is handed down.
Sometimes the bail for a defendant is too much for that person to actually be released. A bondsman ensures that no loss of property such as the defendant’s house or other personal property of his or his family’s is not lost when posting bail. Bondsman charges a percentage of the bond in exchange for returning nonviolent defendants to their families and loved ones. Bondsmen ensure that no one is unduly punished for their crimes while protecting the families of these defendants from going broken attempting to release them on bail.
They protect the central pillar of the American judicial system, that defendants are innocent until proven guilty. They ensure that this tenet is protected in every day practice. They help defendants and their families live normal lives while their future is still being decided by the legal system. A bondsman helps these families.
The legal system in America can be tough and scary for a citizen of this country. So, imagine how intimidated an immigrant would be while navigating their way through this process. What would they have to do if they got arrested and need to make bail? If an immigrant is arrested, in order to be released, he or she will have to post an immigration bail bond.
An immigration bail bond is a federal bond that allows an immigrant to bond out of jail. State bonds are not applicable in these instances. These special bonds are used when an immigrant has been arrested and detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
If it is deemed okay, by ICE, for the prisoner to be back on the street, then that individual will be offered a bond. The purpose of the immigration bail bond is to act as form of insurance; ensuring that the immigrant will attend the required court proceedings and follow through with the process.
Once the bond has been set, the immigrant must pay the bail amount to ICE instead of the local authorities. Immigration bonds come with certain conditions but if they are met, the money will be refunded.
If the immigrant cannot afford to pay the bond, the services of a licensed bail bondsman that has experiences in these types of cases should be employed. The bail bondsman will loan the money needed to get the he or she out of jail. Once out of jail, he or she must pay back the bondsmen or face being arrested once again and not being eligible for an immigration bond.