All business owners in California and across the U.S. have a duty to maintain a reasonably safe environment for entrants. What’s important to remember is that this environment extends to the parking lot. If owners neglect this duty, they may be held liable for any injuries that a customer or employee incurs in this area.

For this reason, property owners may want to consider the following four parking lot safety tips. The first tip is to keep traffic moving in consistent directions with the help of high-visibility striping, signage and arrows. Parking spaces, handicap signs and emergency vehicle lanes should be clearly marked as well.

Proper lighting is also essential as this can reduce the risk for property damage and theft. The dumpsters should be particularly well-lit. Owners should make sure that trees do not obscure any of the lights. The third tip is to maintain the pavement. Owners should make sure to have potholes filled in so as to prevent trips and falls.

Lastly, the parking lot should be de-iced and have snow removed during the winter. Owners may choose to hire a maintenance crew for this. In any case, fixing issues and foreseeing potential problems will help owners prevent injuries and workers’ compensation claims.

If a customer is injured, however, the owner may have to face a claim under premises liability law. A victim, for their part, will need to prove that their injuries are the direct or indirect result of negligence on the owner’s part. Since this can be difficult, a victim may want a lawyer on their side. Once investigators and other third parties have gathered evidence, the lawyer may begin negotiations for a fair settlement. If one cannot be achieved, the lawyer may prepare the case for court.