As a business owner, you are responsible for the safety of visitors and employees at your worksite or location. If a person suffers an injury on your property for which you have legal liability, it may significantly impact the company’s financial health and reputation.
Take these steps to shield your business from liability in premises accidents.
Know your responsibilities
The law states that a business owner is liable for injuries resulting from dangerous premises even if he or she did not create the hazards. The plaintiff must prove that you either knew or should have known about the conditions and did not adequately repair the problem or warn those in the physical area. Continuously monitor the premises, and quickly remove issues that could lead to injury. If you have employees, ask them to do the same to create a culture of workplace safety.
Eliminate potential risks
Slip-and-fall injuries are among the most common accidents that occur in commercial locations. Prevent this type of incident by removing dangerous conditions that could contribute to a catastrophic fall. Examples include cluttered walkways and work areas, low lighting, torn or damaged flooring, and wet and slippery floors. Outdoors, cracked parking lots and icy surfaces create a fall risk. When renovations or repairs are in progress, clearly mark unsafe areas with cones or caution tape.
At a minimum, business owners who maintain a facility need $1 million in general commercial liability insurance. This type of basic policy will cover up to your limit when someone sustains an injury on your property. Without this policy, the injured person could sue your business for medical bills, lost wages and other costs.
You may also be legally liable for an assault in your building if inadequate security contributed to the incidents. Invest in parking lot lighting, locks, an alarm system or even a security guard, depending on the nature of your business.