Personal injury attorneys and legal referral lines advertise everywhere from benches at bus stops to the radio, television, newspaper and Internet. Apparently there’s big money in getting injured! Although some personal injury claims are legitimate and their subsequent lawsuits justified, others are simply born out of greed. Why? Unfortunately, for too many people, the thought of earning an easy buck by suing someone for an injury that may or may not exist is more attractive than actually working to earn that dollar.
Outrageous Personal Injury Claims
Injury lawsuits occur across the country on a daily basis, but some are so outrageous that they make national headlines. Chances are that you’ll never order a drink from McDonald’s without remembering Stella Liebeck, the woman who sued the Golden Arches after spilling her hot coffee on her lap and burning herself.
You may not sell hot beverages, but if you are a business owner, it’s a wise idea to protect yourself from personal injury claims that could potentially destroy your reputation and drain your bank account. In addition to the possibility of being sued by customers or potential customers that visit your workplace, be cautious of your employees, too.
Here are 9 tips you will want to consider and put into effect:
1. Identify any prominent areas where injuries may occur—such as entryways that easily get wet when it is raining outside—and take the necessary precautions. For example, set up caution cones or other warning markers when it rains.
2. Stay organized. Keep your business free of clutter to help prevent potential physical injuries such as slips and falls. Make sure pathways are clear.
3. Perform tasks and duties that could be potentially hazardous, such as mopping—which often leads to slips and falls— when your business is closed or not very busy.
4. Be sure to keep all of your business’ licenses and certifications current and on display, especially those regarding workplace safety!
5. Make sure that all of your employees have received adequate training on how to properly use equipment and/or supplies. This can help prevent on-the-job accidents. Re-train periodically.
6. Hold staff meetings on a regular basis to make sure any minor issues are resolved before they turn into big problems.
7. If an accident occurs at your business, call 911 so that medical professionals can examine any potentially injured persons.
8. In the event of an accident, procure statements as to what happened as well as names, addresses and phone numbers from witnesses.
9. Carry adequate business liability insurance. This generally covers claims in four categories:
Personal injury, including slander or libel
You may also want to opt for other types of liability insurance, so be sure to consult a professional for advice.
Being your own boss is a dream come true for most business owners, but dealing with an outrageous or bogus personal injury claim can be a nightmare. However, if you take the proper precautions, you can help to protect yourself as well as your business.
Jon Reiter is a marketing agent for http://www.coloradoinjuryattorney.net/, an experienced Denver personal injury attorney.