We do everything we can to keep ourselves, our customers, and our employees safe. But sometimes, things go wrong, and people get hurt. We never want anyone to get hurt, and injuries that happen at your business or because of your products can be a big problem for your business.
People get hurt every day while on the property of a business. People who have been hurt may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit and get money for their losses. In some situations, it is possible to sue a business for injury to get the costs of an injury back. When a business doesn’t provide a safe place to work, and someone gets hurt because of it, the business may be legally responsible for helping the injured person get money.
Statistics show that between 36% and 53% of smaller companies are in at least one lawsuit every year and that 90% of all enterprises face lawsuits at any given time. You might have to deal with costly lawsuits or medical expenses that can take a big bite out of your money. So, what steps can you take to limit your business’s liability?
What do you do if a customer gets hurt on your property, a worker gets hurt at work, or one of your products hurts someone? Read on:
When Is a Company Liable for Injury?
Most lawsuits for injuries are filed because someone was careless. In these cases, the person suing must show that the business had a duty of care, that the duty was broken, that the broken duty caused the injury, and that the injury caused damages.
Any lawsuit can be expensive for a business, and lawsuits can also hurt a brand’s reputation. When people go into a business to buy goods or services, the business has a reasonable duty of care to ensure its customers are safe and comfortable. But the level of duty of care usually depends on the type of visitor.
Forbes says that more than 500,000 new businesses open each month in the United States. About 70% of new businesses that have employees last for approximately two years. Most of these businesses fail due to customer dissatisfaction and a bad reputation.
The best way to understand what can harm your company’s reputation is to hire a lawyer. Most lawsuits can be avoided if you know what federal laws say and how your business needs to protect it. If you are a business owner in St. Louis, you need a lawyer to understand and protect your business against lawsuits.
For example, you might need a St. Louis personal injury attorney to safeguard your business against personal lawsuits. The attorney will help you navigate through the laws and help you make strategies to prevent losses due to lawsuits against your company.
Acts of Negligence
Most personal injury lawsuits against businesses are based on the fact that they were careless. In a negligence case, you have to show four things: a duty of care, a breach of that duty, how the breach caused harm, and how much harm it did.
If the business didn’t make sure its customers were safe and one of them got hurt as a result, the customer might be able to sue the business for the harm done to them.
In order for a business to make money, it needs people to come into the business. So, they have a responsibility to take care of all people who come onto their property. People often say that this duty of care means acting as wisely as possible. But the level of reasonableness might depend on who is coming.
Breach of Duty
After the standard of care is set, it is up to the plaintiff to show that the business broke this duty. For instance, the business might need to clean the place more often, leaving liquid on the floor that a customer later slipped on. Someone on staff may have seen the spill but not cleaned it up.
An important part of a negligence claim is showing that a breach of duty caused the injury. Breach of duty happens when there is a duty of care that isn’t met. In cases of negligence, breach of duty is a very important part. The breach must have really and directly caused the harm. It’s not enough to show that the customer got hurt in the store; something the business did or didn’t do must have caused the injury.
You Need Insurance for Your Business
As always, taking extra precautions can prevent major complications. General insurance coverage is necessary to protect your company from potential lawsuits. As auto insurance shields you from financial ruin in the event of an accident, so too can general liability insurance shield you from a wide variety of personal injury claims.
Commercial general liability insurance can cover claims like when a customer was hurt while visiting your store or office. The cost of insurance for general liability is reasonable. The yearly premiums start at a very low cost, $50 per month, and go up based on how much coverage you want and what kind of business you run.
If you sell something and someone gets hurt because of it, you could be held liable. A customer who is hurt by your product may sue you to compensate for their medical expenses and other losses.
It can happen if the product is inherently dangerous, does not come with adequate caution, or contains a manufacturing flaw that makes it unsafe. Talk to your insurance company if you want to know how and where to cover a liability like this.
Lastly, you’ll need to get insurance for workers’ compensation. That will pay workers who get hurt on the job while they heal or, if the injury is serious, for a long time.
What to Do If a Worker Is Hurt
Your employees could get hurt while using heavy equipment, working with dangerous chemicals or materials, or just sitting at a desk. Equipment breaks down, chemicals spill, and people can get hurt by slipping on a patch of ice or burning themselves on the office coffee maker.
Sometimes an accident is just that, and no one is to blame. But you might be responsible if your worker got hurt because you didn’t fix a dangerous situation. Make sure you talk to your employees about what to do if someone gets hurt on the job. Encourage them to tell someone right away if they get hurt, and make sure they know how to handle injuries.
Accidents ARE going to happen, so it’s up to you to know what to do if they do. Taking the proper steps after an accident is crucial. Whether the person hurt is an employee or a customer, it will help you as a business owner to be more responsible and take appropriate action.