Property owners in Mississippi have many responsibilities toward the people who patronize their establishment. One of them will be to make sure that everyone who enters their premises is safe. If you own a department store, you may be held liable for any accidents that occur. This is a kind of liability you will need to be aware of.
How is liability for an accident determined?
Premises liability is a very flexible concept with many possible applications. The main point of interest for you will be to determine who is actually at fault for any accidents that occur on your property. Once this is done, the amount of the possible penalty can be assessed.
The court will want to know what the legal status of the claimant was. Were they a member of the public who came into your store to shop? Were they expressly invited there for a party or special event?
If the person who files the claim was a trespasser, they have much less legal standing to file a suit. You have no responsibility to protect someone who commits criminal actions.
What can you do to prevent liability?
You will naturally have a great deal of questions concerning liability that need to be answered. Chief among them will certainly be the question of how to avoid an adverse judgment in a liability suit.
To win the suit, the person who filed the claim must prove that you did not do all that you could to prevent an injury. They need to prove that you were negligent in keeping all areas of your property in a safe condition. They may also try to prove that you knew an area was unsafe but did nothing about it.
The statute of limitations to file a premises liability claim is three years. The plaintiff has this amount of time to prepare their case and bring it to court. You should also be using this time to prepare a suitable defense. This will be the best way for you to avoid being the victim of this kind of suit.