Even in the age of online shopping, many people still have to go out and about to get some of the merchandise they need.

Also, people do have to go to other businesses and public areas in order to do other errands. Of course, sometimes people are out and about just to have fun.

Under the law, owners of Florida businesses and facilities have some legal obligations to protect their customers and other guests. Basically, they have to take reasonable steps to prevent accidents, including slips or trips and falls.

Indeed, slips and falls at businesses and other public places are often preventable.

For example, customers in a store may trip over a cord, uneven flooring, or an object in the aisle while they are walking. Wet floors due to mopping or people tracking in water can also cause slips, as can broken flooring or torn carpet.

In other cases, equipment like an escalator may malfunction or lighting simply might not be adequate in a particular part of the store or business.

A diligent business owner can promptly correct or prevent the vast majority of these hazardous conditions.

Likewise, in the parking lot or parking garage for a business, an owner must take steps to keep the asphalt in good repair and should also take the necessary steps to avoid slick spots, poorly lit areas or other dangerous conditions.

Many times, slips and falls just end with some embarrassment and perhaps a bruise or cut. Unfortunately, the consequences can be and often are much worse. In some cases, a fall will lead to broken leg or other fracture. In the worst case scenario, spinal cord injuries, other back and neck injuries or traumatic injuries are possible.

Victims of slips and falls may need to evaluate their legal options as they try to figure out how to financially recover from their ordeals.