Businesses are turning into victims of personal injury claims, with an uptick of advertising pushing plaintiffs to sue for millions of dollars. Many lawsuits are frivolous in nature, but the plaintiff has everything to gain when getting injured.
A few million dollar payday is enough for a person to purposely slip and fall in your building.
Businesses are being sued for personal injury claims every day of the week. People sue for spilling hot coffee on themselves. Others sue for tripping on a sidewalk. People ignore caution signs, walking into a slippery area and falling in the process.
Can your small business withstand these hefty personal injury claims?
If not, you need to know how to protect your business from personal injury claims.
1. Review or Obtain General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance is coverage that every small and large business needs to safeguard themselves against personal injury claims. If you don’t have general liability insurance, your business is under a serious risk from personal injury claims.
The good news is that this insurance is often tied into property insurance.
But even so, you may be a small contractor that operates out of your home, so you might not think to get general liability insurance.
If you already have insurance, you should:
- Review your policy annually
- Discuss your business’s finances and insurance with a professional
General liability insurance will be priced based on four main factors:
- 1. Business type
- 2. Location
- 3. Number of employees
- 4. Level of risk exposure
If there’s one thing you do after reading this article, it should be discussing your options with an insurance agent to get coverage as soon as possible.
2. Label Dangerous Areas Properly
“Danger high radiation area” or “Caution wet floor” may be all that’s needed to prevent a person from winning a personal injury lawsuit against your business. Your business has a duty to protect customers, so if a floor is wet, labeled as wet, and a customer decides to risk walking on the floor, you’re better prepared if a lawsuit is filed.
- 1. Assess the premises often for potential for injury
- 2. Supply the proper signage to warn of potential hazards
- 3. Remove dangers in the workplace
If you remove dangers or warn of them ahead of time, this will make your business inherently safer from personal injury claims.
3. Protect Employees Via Training and Education
Safety must always come first in your business. Not only do you want to protect against claims, but you also want to do everything in your power to protect your employees. A business can protect its workers through:
- Training: Proper training ensures that employees are properly trained to use equipment and perform their duties up to the highest standards.
- Identify Hazards: When possible, identify all hazards in the workplace that an employee may encounter. Through proper identification, you’ll be sure that your employees have less risk of injury or death.
When you do your best to train and protect employees, you’re also safeguarding your business if a claim is filed. You can show that an employee was properly trained to use a dangerous piece of equipment and your business took all of the proper safety measures in the process.
You can use this in your defense to prove that an employee acted negligent despite knowing the risks.
It’s also up to you to provide your employees with the proper safety equipment. If you provide your employees with training and safety equipment that they fail to use, you might be able to sway a claim by showing your business took every precaution to protect employees from injury.
Safety guidelines should be implemented across your entire workforce in an effort to protect against injury and further safeguard your business from costly lawsuits.