Keeping Your Business Safe From Injury Lawsuits
If you have a physical property, you may give a lot of thought to keeping your business safe from lawsuits by employees, vendors, or from being sued for breach of contract. These are all very valid concerns. However, a lot of people don’t think much about keeping their physical property safe from physical injury—that is, how to make sure your business is somewhat protected, should someone be injured on your property.
The old adage is true—“anybody can sue anybody for anything.” However, that doesn’t make you defenseless—there are things you can do, before an accident ever actually occurs that can make it much harder for you to be sued on your property. Here are some things to consider.
Have a safety policy – Obviously, your safety policy will differ depending on what kind of business you are. Additionally, you may need two safety policies—one for your customers, and one for your employees. Regardless, have your safety policies and procedures in written form, and perhaps even included in an employee handbook.
Log and document what you do – Do your employees scan and monitor walkways for debris every 15 minutes? Did you fix a handrail on the stairway? Whatever you do, take pictures, and document the changes, repairs, or improvements that you make, and keep a log of the times an employee does something (mopping, or a visual inspection or a cleaning) to keep the property safe.
Don’t ignore contractors – Don’t assume that the cleaning company you hired is using the safety measures that you are. Legally, you may be held liable for anything that a third party does or doesn’t do—you won’t always be able to pawn off responsibility on the cleaning company or a technician that is hired to do work, but who does so in a dangerous manner.
Take hiring seriously – Negligent hiring or negligent entrustment can get you in trouble. Are you doing background checks on employees or contractors before hiring them? If you fail to do so, and if they commit a crime or hurt someone accidentally, you could still be held liable for what those employees do.
Take security seriously – The amount of security you need will depend on a number of factors. For example, are you watching over a vulnerable population like kids, or the elderly or the disabled? Is your business one where fights or violence are more likely to occur, like a bar? What’s the crime like in the area that surrounds your business?
Anything from actual human security guards, to lighting improvements or video cameras, can help shield you from liability should someone try to sue you for an injury that happens as a result of criminal activity on your property. In some cases, you may want to talk to a security expert to get ideas on effective ways to reduce the chances of criminal activity on your property.
Call the West Palm Beach business litigation attorneys at Pike & Lustig today for help keeping your business safe from lawsuits or liability.