A personal injury claim can put financial strain on your small business and take away your focus from your company’s bottom line. Small businesses are much more susceptible to outrageous claims as they do not usually have adequate financial resources for hiring a legal team to represent their needs.
There’s big money in these claims, and unfortunately the number of claims is only increasing.
With the hot coffee lawsuit against McDonalds being successful and Stella Leibeck (plaintiff) receiving $2.86 million in compensation, absurd personal injury claims have exploded in courts in the last two decades.
As a small business owner, you may feel that your ability to defend your business is compromised by the legal system. However, there are several things you can do to protect yourself from litigation that could potentially drain your financial resources.
Label Dangerous Areas
During the course of operating your business, there might be certain areas that may become hazardous due to weather changes or construction. You should label such areas as dangerous; it’s better to be prepared for the proceedings.
Make sure you inspect your workplace frequently to scrutinize if any changes have occurred that might lead to injuries, especially if you are in an industry where there are constant changes, like construction. Slip and fall injuries are common, so make sure there is nothing employees can slip on or fall over.
Most businesses need liability insurance to cover the legal fees in the event of a personal injury claim. General liability insurance, or Commercial General Liability, is usually used for protection against personal injuries and is considered sufficient. Businesses providing a service may also need to have Professional Liability Insurance.
You can get a general liability insurance quote based on your annual projections, residential operations, commercial operations and policy limits required.
When you are responsible for the health and safety of your staff, performing due diligence is a must. Protecting everyone from injury should be a priority, and if you end up in court for a personal injury claim, the court will look at the work you've done to protect employees. So by going above and beyond to protect your employees, not only will the chances of facing a personal injury claim go down, but in the event one is filed, your chances of winning that case go up.
Some things you can do to protect employees include: training, identifing hazardous areas and locating fire exits around the workplace. Without taking adequate steps to train employees and incorporating health and safety guidelines for them to adhere to, you could be held liable for possible injuries.
Streamlining communication with your staff is the simplest avenue to prevent personal injury issues. Discussing health and safety guidelines often with your employees may help clear up issues before they turn into a costly legal affair.
Designing a health and safety book could also be beneficial in communicating your company’s position on such issues. This book should be frequently updated as changes are made to health and safety protocols.
Dealing with personal injury claims can be stressful and result in a huge financial burden for your company. These strategies will help you avoid the possibility of lawsuits against you and your business.