There are plenty of reasons as to why small businesses often fail, yet a large majority of these problems can be prevented. A lawsuit is an occurrence which can drastically injure a small business. Aside from the obvious legal fees, you will spend valuable time fighting it and risk damaging your business. A lawsuit can have a huge impact on your reputation and risks exposing your business to a further loss of revenue.
Whilst a personal injury claim has the power to destroy your business, there are things you can do in order to prevent it from happening. Here are some ways that you can protect your business from personal injury claims.
Understanding Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury claims can relate to emotional or physical damage caused to someone that comes as a result of negligence by another. A successful personal injury claim will result in financial compensation to the injured party. A slip and fall suit is just that – someone slips and falls whilst on your property and are injured as a result.
The most common personal injury claim is a slip and fall claim and property owners and municipalities are left responsible in providing a safe and adequately maintained property for their tenants, invited guests and even trespassers.
Slip and Fall Liability
Business owners, in particular, those who are running businesses which do not see heavy footfall, tend to overlook the maintenance and care of their properties. This leaves the business open to potential slip and fall accidents and a subsequent lawsuit.
In order for you to be liable, it must be demonstrated that you:
- Are aware of potential danger on your property
- Should have known about the potential danger
- Are duly responsible for the condition, either for causing it or not rectifying it in sufficient time
- Had reasonable time to repair the conditions, but have failed to do so
4 Ways You Can Protect Your Business From Personal Injury Claims
To ensure proper care of your premises, you must eliminate any chances of injuries. Your duty as a business owner is outlined within the legal duty of care, so you are bound to take every reasonable action in order to prevent harm to persons on your business property. It is within your job role to inspect every square foot on your property and highlight any potential hazards. This can be anything from loose tiles to uneven flooring. Anything which may pose risk must be addressed by you.
Manage and Prevent Any Spills
This is essential for all businesses. Even a small coffee spill can end up with you in litigation for months on end. For hospitals and restaurants, where this type of accident is especially common, there must be someone on hand at all times to dry and mop up any spills that are on the floor, as well as collect items which people may slip on.
Use Clear Signage
Make sure that you use clear and well-placed signage within your business and work premises. Reflective tape is extremely effective in attracting attention and awareness. This tape can be used as a warning for many possible hazards, for example, a wet floor during cleaning, loose rock walls and a low roof where people may knock their heads.
Manage Wires and Cords
With so many different gadgets and types of equipment within the home today, your business is likely to become laden with different wires, cables and cords in order to support your working equipment.
Make a plan of your office layout and look at where these cables and wires can be safely stored. Whether you staple them underneath the flooring, buy cable tidies or use cable tape for underneath desks, be sure that they are organised and safe.
Invest in Quality Insurance
No matter how careful you are, accidents are likely to still happen within the workplace. As a rule, you should invest in liability insurance to ensure that your business has adequate coverage for any accidents. Without this, you may well be responsible for any costs that are associated with a personal injury claim. Depending on how severe the accident is, these costs can be extremely high.
As a general rule, businesses that have property insurance also tend to have general liability coverage. Unfortunately, you can never be sure. To avoid this, carry out research and look into your existing insurance policy. It’s important to realise that home-run businesses may not have any coverage, so in this case, you should take out business liability insurance. This won’t only protect you and your business against personal injury, but also provide protection for slander, property damage and libel.
Have A Trusted Lawyer Ready
As a small business owner, you can never be too careful. This means that you should always have a trusted lawyer ready to represent you if you ever have a personal injury case or need a settlement agreement solicitors. Do your research in-depth and choose a reputable firm. At the first sign of any issues, your lawyer or chosen firm can represent you and be able to advise you on the best course of action.