It can have a detrimental impact on a business’s reputation and finances. Therefore, it is more than necessary for the business to have a thorough understanding of the legalities and technicalities behind personal injury claims.
It is imperative if the injuries were due to faulty equipment or an employee’s negligence. We’ll cover some critical personal injury laws that every small business owner should know. Doing so will help them to comply with the applicable employment laws.
Personal Injury Laws: Top 5 Ones That Every Business Should Know
Every business wants to keep its employees and customers safe at its facilities. By understanding these laws, you can better understand the measures you can take to enhance workplace safety. It will save you from dealing with personal injury claims that can put your business under financial constraints.
1. Premises Liability Law
Whether it is an invitee or licensee, every individual that steps into your business premises is your responsibility. It doesn’t matter whether you own the facility or rent it; you’ll have to bear complete responsibility. Even trespassers have some coverage according to the premises liability law.
If you rent the property, your landlord might face lawsuits for negligence. However, keep in mind that the primary responsibility will fall on the shoulders of the business owner.
Also, some landlords might add provisions in the rental contracts that mandate the tenants to take complete responsibility for the property’s safety and security. It means that you have to deal with incurred expenses, even if your landlord is sued. There can be different situations that can fall under premises liability, such as:
- Equipment or commodities harming an individual
- Guest or an employee assaulting another guest
- Hazardous substances running off your property
- Slip-and-fall incidents
In a nutshell, you would have to take relevant steps to prevent such situations. Failure to do so means that a personal injury lawyer can hold you accountable for the injuries or damages.
2. Workers’ Compensation
While customers or visitors might occasionally come to your premises, workers are present most of them at the workplace. Therefore, it puts them at a higher risk than customers of getting injured. Businesses need to have a workers’ compensation insurance policy.
Workers’ compensation is a mandatory insurance policy that businesses must have in most states, even if they have a single employee. This insurance policy covers the employee’s medical bills and lost wages if work-related injuries happen on the business premises.
Not having workers’ compensation insurance means the business owner would be liable to pay for all the employee’s expenditures. The high cost of medical treatment and lost wages can put a serious burden on the business’ finances.
3. Product Liability Laws
Another essential law that business owners need to be aware of is the personal liability law. It holds the manufacturer liable if their product leads to any injuries or damages. The core principle of the law is to ensure that businesses or manufacturers don’t sell products that are harmful to consumers.
Nevertheless, there is a chance that fluke accidents might occur, leading to product liability claims. As a business owner, you should be aware of the right to save yourself and your business from unwarranted expenses.
The product liability claims blame the defective product for the damages or injuries. The plaintiff can allege that the faulty product was the cause of the injury based on various reasons, such as:
- The manufacturer failed to mention the risks of using the product
- The manufacturer was aware of the dangers but didn’t alert the consumers
- The manufacturer/distributor didn’t indicate that the product wasn’t safe for use
Victims can file a claim for product liability against the manufacturers or distributors. Most states allow them to file a claim against both for the responsibility of these damages or injuries.
4. Wrongful Death
Wrongful death also falls under the personal injury claim in which the family members sue an entity for the negligence-related incident. The family members of the person who died to any party’s negligence can file for this claim.
For instance, a business owner hires someone to do the repair work on the premises. The person might negligently cause an accident, leading to a worker’s death. In such cases, the worker’s family members have the right to file for a wrongful death lawsuit.
They can file for compensation from the business owner for their pain and suffering. The plaintiffs can get various compensation for various damages due to wrongful death claims, such as:
- Parentalcare and devotion
- Pain and sorrow
- Medical expenditures
- Loss of consortium (the relationship between a partner and parent)
- Loss of companionship
- Funeral costs
5. Vicarious Liability
Lastly, the vicarious liability law is also something that business owners should know. Though business owners themselves might not injure anybody, they’re still liable for their employee’s actions.
The business owner will be responsible if an employee hurts another person in the business facility. The principle of vicarious liability is that the employee’s careless activities will fall on the employer.
Hence, they’ll be liable to pay for the damages or any injuries resulting from their employees’ actions. It is best to provide proper training and supervise the employees to avoid vicarious liability.
Keep Your Business Protected
A clear idea of these laws will help protect your business from personal injury claims. You can take relevant measures to keep your employees, visitors, and customers safe. Furthermore, it is best to consult a personal injury lawyer to know the local municipality and state laws.
Make sure you comply with all the state laws to avoid any claims. And if your organization or you are facing any criminal charges, then you should find reliable and trustworthy criminal defense lawyers in Orlando to fight your case.