You can’t ignore the potential impact of a personal injury claim against your small business.
If you’re like most small business owners with a tight budget, even one claim could wipe out your business.
Beyond protecting yourself with liability insurance, what are other ways you can prevent a personal injury incident? And what is the best way to handle a claim if it does happen?
What Constitutes a Personal Injury Claim?
Many people are confused about what is a personal injury claim.
Personal injuries can come from intentional abuse, pure accidents, and negligence. Intentional abuse is where a person intentionally sought to cause harm.
A pure accident would be an instance where no one meant any harm, and events that were out of the control of anyone converged to cause harm.
Negligence is where someone didn’t do something they were supposed to do to ensure safety, and someone got hurt because of it.
Personal injury claims include falling, tripping, product defects, and accidents of all sorts.
When you consider the list of possible personal injury claims, it’s enough to make you want to re-evaluate your business liability insurance policy.
How Does a Personal Injury Claim Start?
As the following article looks at, i you’re on the receiving end of a personal injury claim, you’ll want to know what’s involved in making a personal injury claim?
In the case of a personal injury claim against your business, first, of course, there has to be some sort of injury that occurs either on your business property or connected somehow to your business product.
There would be some sort of incident report, with a summary of some kind that outlines the injuries involved. The claimant would probably file a police report at the time of the incident, so there would be a police report.
If the claim was a result of an injury relating to your product, the first time you hear about it may be with a letter from their lawyer’s office.
If the claim results from an accident on your property, you’ll probably know about it right away.
Can Your Business Reputation Suffer?
Yes, your small business reputation can suffer as a result of a personal injury claim if you don’t handle it well.
If you exhibit indifference or anger toward the victim, whether or not you’re guilty, the court of public opinion will rule against you.
The best course of action if you’ve been hit with a personal injury claim is to be sympathetic, but objective. Don’t assume responsibility, but do assume an attitude of caring toward the victim.
Does Your Lawyer Need to Get Involved?
The very first thing you should do, after getting medical help for the victim, is to contact a personal injury lawyer to help defend you.
There are two parts to every personal injury claim.
The first is blame, and the second is damages.
If your business is found to be at blame, your lawyer can still help to control the damages that you have to pay for restitution to the victim. The bill for damages can make the difference between you surviving the claim, or shuttering your doors for good.
Never presume that a person is faking an injury to file a personal injury claim.
Although some people do this, the majority of victims are honest individuals who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Your primary counsel should always be your lawyer in the event of a personal injury claim.
About the Author: Kate Supino writes extensively about best business practices.