What does your business stand to lose in a personal injury lawsuit? Perhaps more than you think. Aside from legal fees and time squandered defending your case, not to mention possible damages, lawsuits can severely impact your company’s reputation and bring down profits.
As you may already know, personal injury lawsuits in the business context relate to physical or psychological damage caused by negligence. Very few claims are legitimate. Although the average payout is between $3,000 and $75,000, many customers and employees sue for millions, even when the case is trivial. Prevention is key to mitigating your risk.
Provide Safety Education and Training
Regardless of how safe the work environment appears, it’s always wise to ensure that your staff are equipped with the knowledge and skills for avoiding potential accidents. Here are some considerations:
- Equip workers with safety equipment such as gloves and helmets
- Make sure that everyone is aware of fire exit placements and important contact numbers
- Perform emergency drills and safety inspections on a regular basis
- Establish thorough health and safety guidelines and procedures
- Host weekly or monthly safety discussions and ask for feedback about concerns
Check Your Premises
Cluttered and neglected workplaces are a major source of lawsuits, especially when it comes to slip and fall injuries – 27% of all non-fatal injuries are caused by trips and falls. Your premises should always be clean and free of obstacles, particularly in areas with heavy foot traffic. The following guidelines can help:
- Allocate disposal areas for handling trash and debris
- Decide where to keep dangerous tools and materials to ensure safe storage and retrieval
- Keep flammable and hazardous chemicals out of harm’s way
- Clean any spills and leaks immediately
- Use cable ties and hideaways to minimize the presence of exposed wires
Invest in General Liability Insurance
The right policy will spare you the cost of paying for claims out of your own pocket. General liability insurance typically covers expenses such as damage to third parties, medical bills, and defense costs among others.
Keep in mind that it doesn’t protect against employee workplace accidents and property damage. These liabilities require workers’ compensation insurance and commercial property insurance respectively. Make sure to follow the guidelines of your policy, which includes paying premiums on time and complying with corporate regulations.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
You can never be too careful, and accidents can still happen despite taking all the necessary precautions, particularly younger workers, who have higher rates of occupational injuries. Having a competent and reputable personal injury lawyer available on standby will provide the best line of defense in the event that any claims are made against your business.
Look for attorneys who are intimately familiar with state laws and customs, as well as your specific business liabilities. The website for Attorney Brian White & Associates, PC has more information on personal injury lawyers.
You need to have procedures in place to ensure that employees know what to do when any accidents occur. This includes knowing when to call emergency services, where first aid kits are located, and how to provide basic treatment, as well as recording details and taking statements from witnesses.
Remember to be diplomatic when dealing with personal injury claims. With the right insurance and legal expertise by your side, you can rely on them to reach an outcome in your favor.
Interesting related article: “What is a Lawsuit?”