Whenever a customer is injured on a company’s property, it can have serious consequences for the business owner. By opening its doors to the public, a business assumes a certain amount of liability for anything that happens to potential customers while on the premises. This assumed responsibility can be especially problematic when a business faces the infamous “slip and fall” case. Unfortunately, “slip and fall” cases are difficult to predict the outcome of ahead of time, as they hinge on whether or not the business owner was truly negligent. As a general rule of thumb, customers that slip and fall on a company’s property must prove that the area was dangerous and that the company was or should have been aware of the danger ahead of time. Luckily, there are a few steps that business owners can take to mitigate the potential liability from such a case.
Call Emergency Services/Provide Aid
Making sure all parties involved in the incident are taken care of physically before going into the small details that are necessary for your business. Make sure paramedics are called and they can help, more often than not, with the whole process. Making sure everything is above the table and seeing to everyone’s immediate needs can do wonders for your image as a company and its just the right thing to do.
Contact Insurance Company and Document EVERYTHING
As soon as an accident occurs on company property, the owner should immediately contact their insurance carrier and inform them of the incident. This is an important step because many carriers have specific cut-off points for coverage, depending on when they were notified of the incident. For example, some places of business have special insurance policies that would need the help of an expert like those involved with insurance for tattoo studios.
After contacting the insurance company, the next step is to document as much of the accident as possible. Thankfully, camera phones make this step easier than ever. It’s also worth speaking to any co-workers or employees that were in the surrounding area, as their testimonies will likely be called upon again.
Of course, communicating with employees and other witnesses also means communicating with the person that was injured in the first place. When approaching the injured party, keep in mind that it is perfectly reasonable, and expected, for the business to help the person that’s been injured. The act of helping someone is not an admission of guilt and can actually go a long way towards dissuading the injured person from taking legal action.
Once you’ve spoken to the injured party, your employees, and any other witnesses in the area, it’s a good idea to prepare written documentation for your insurance company. By contacting them via phone and mail, you’ll have all of your bases covered.
Fix and Plan Ahead
If someone has been injured on your premises then the site of the accident should be addressed. This means fixing whatever issue caused the accident and preventing similar accidents from occurring in the future. By being vigilant in these situations, you can insulate your business from further unnecessary distractions.
This article is courtesy of Anita Ginsburg, a freelance writer from Denver who often writes about home, family, law and business. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing.