Protecting your business from personal injury claims
Even with the most careful of planning, it’s impossible to prevent 100% of workplace accidents. Those accidents often lead to personal injury claims, where employees can seek millions in compensation for motor vehicle accidents, falls, and exposure to various other hazards.
In order to get anything out of your business, the accident must be the fault of your organization. That means there are numerous steps you can take to protect your business from personal injury claims as well as prevent these accidents in the first place. Here’s what you need to know.
While you can’t prevent every accident, you can ensure your business is ready to handle a claim when it arises. Regardless of how large your operation is, it’s vital that you hold general liability insurance. This is usually included in property insurance, but it’s always worth double-checking to make sure you’re covered.
If you operate your business out of your home, relying on contractors, then chances are you don’t have either type of insurance mentioned above. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you don’t need liability. Picking this up through your insurance agent protects you from:
- Personal injury
- Bodily injury
- Property damage
- And issues with advertising injury
Having the right insurance to protect your business is essential, but it’s even more vital to prevent accidents where you can. While slips from spills come to mind, businesses must also maintain their property as well as the structural integrity of their building. That includes everything from stairs to railings and tile in the bathroom.
One of the top unforeseen accidents happens when a piece of the building falls on an employee. These pieces are often small parts of the construction, but can cause serious damage. The larger the piece is, inside or outside your business, the more of a lawsuit you have on your hands.
As an owner, you can’t possibly be expected to stay on top of every nut and bolt. So, do yourself a favor and hire an outside agency to conduct routine inspections. When an issue arises, fix it immediately to protect yourself, your employees, and any customers. You should also have any maintenance and cleaning done outside of business hours to avoid unwanted slips and falls.
Both large and small businesses can easily become cluttered. Depending on the materials your organization works with, those could become serious hazards for your employees. Take the time to de-clutter everything from stacked boxes to paperwork and frequented parts of the building.
Handling an Accident
Protecting yourself from a personal injury claim also involves handling every accident correctly. The first thing you should do is break out the first aid kit or call for emergency help depending on the severity of the injury. Once things settle down and the employee is being cared for, file the accident immediately.
Your report should also include statements from anyone who witnessed the accident, including their name and contact information. After that, call your attorney right away. They can help you better understand the laws that affect this potential case and how you should deal with it moving forward.