Slip and fall injuries are a terrifying prospect for a business owner. Of course you don’t want anyone to be injured on your property, but the thought of getting sued and being judged liable for paying money you can’t afford to lose can keep you up at night.
A responsible business owner should be aware of how to prevent injuries on their premises and know what to do if the worst happens.
Who are you responsible for at your place of business?
As a business owner, you are responsible for the safety of everyone who enters your premises, including employees, customers, solicitors, and even trespassers (to some degree). Even if you are not the owner of the building, you will hold primary responsibility for any injuries occurring there, especially since most landlords specifically include a clause saying so in your rental agreement. This includes responsibility for multiple types of damage and injury. What it boils down to is, if you could have done something to prevent the injury or property damage from happening, you can be held liable.
What to Do if Someone Suffers an Injury on Your Property.
If a person is injured in your place of business, the first thing to do is to call for medical assistance immediately. Follow basic first aid guidelines such as trying to control bleeding and not moving someone who may have suffered a spinal or neck injury.
Once the injured person is taken care of by medical personnel, your next order of business should be to survey the site where the injury occurred to determine if any dangerous hazards exist there, such as uneven flooring or debris in a walking path. Record everything that happened as accurately as you can, including photos of the property conditions if possible. Try to determine the names of the victim and witnesses.
Make sure you don’t say anything admitting responsibility for the incident, as it may come back to bite you later. Contact your attorney as soon as possible and follow their advice before speaking to anyone, including the police.
How to Protect Yourself.
Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself from causing injury and from subsequent personal injury lawsuits. You can never foresee every possible hazard, and you never know what a judge or jury might do, so it’s a good idea to be prepared for lawsuits even if you’ve done everything in your power to keep your property safe. A commercial general liability insurance policy can protect your finances in case of injury and should be strongly considered.
The most important thing you can and should do is to inspect your property for any dangerous conditions, and immediately correct any problems you find. Spills should be promptly cleaned, flooring and mats should be flat and even, and ice and snow should be cleared as much as possible. Any time there is a potential for injury, you should warn visitors of the hazard with a clear and obvious warning sign, like a “wet floor” sign. If possible, keep people away from the area of the hazard, and fix the problem as soon as you can.
Unfortunately, injuries can still happen even in the best of circumstances. Firms like Injury Trial Lawyers will not hesitate to pursue claims against your business for injury and dangerous conditions, so be sure to do everything you can to keep your place of business safe and smoothly operating.