Owning a business comes with certain risks.If you own a storefront or other public space, one of the risks that your business carries is the possibility of a customer or client hurting themselves in on your premises and blaming you for their injury. A common situation you may face is a “slip and fall.” Here are a few frequently asked questions about slip and falls and what you can do to protect your business from liability.
1. What can I do to prevent slip-and-fall lawsuits? The best thing you can do is to keep your business premises clean, well-lit, and safe. Avoid arrangements that could put your customers in danger and make sure to wipe up all wet surfaces immediately. You can also consider installing video cameras to observe your store. In the event of a fraudulent personal injury claim, you can use the surveillance video to prove that the claim is illegitimate.
2. What is a slip-and-fall? A “slip-and-fall” is a type of civil lawsuit filed by a plaintiff who hurts him or herself on a business premises. This type of injury claim can involve a customer who slips on a wet floor (that is why it is frequently called a slip-and-fall claim), but can involve a variety of scenarios where a customer is injured on your business premises. Another example may be if a customer is injured by unsecured shelving or other hazard. Essentially, if a person is hurt in your business because there was an unsafe condition, they may be able to sue you for payment of their medical bills and other costs associated with their injury.
3. What happens if someone sues you? If you are sued by a customer, you will be served with a complaint that states the claim the plaintiff is making against you. You will be required to answer the complaint within a certain period of time. Make sure that you take the complaint seriously; if you do not answer in a timely manner and in compliance with the law of your state and the rules of the court, you may lose your opportunity to defend your business against the claim. Consult with a business lawyer Memphis, TN residents trust to make sure that you are properly answering the complaint to set yourself up well to defend your claim.
4. What business considerations should I make in anticipation of potential lawsuits? In addition to taking precautions to prevent slip-and-fall lawsuits, it is smart to prepare for what you will do if and when your business is sued. Many companies offer insurance to businesses against personal injury lawsuits, and such a policy may offer your business a financial safety net in the event you are sued. You also could seek out and choose an attorney to consult with you on your policies and procedures in an effort to ensure you are complying with relevant safety standards which can become a point of contention in the event of a personal injury lawsuit.
Remember, if your business has been sued because a customer or client hurt themselves on your business premises, the best thing you can do to protect your business is to hire a personal injury defense attorney. You should choose a defense attorney who is familiar with defending businesses so that they can use their experience to advise you on what will be best to preserve your goodwill and prevent frivolous lawsuits in the future.
Thank you to our generous contributors at Patterson Bray, for the insightful information above.