Most businesses out there are prone to personal injury claims. According to the law, a personal injury law enables a person with an injury to go to a local civil court and claim legal damages and remedies for all the losses that came from the accident.
The very core of a personal injury system is for a victim to be “made whole” or compensated after they have suffered harm, one way or another due to intentional conduct or carelessness.
While it’s not unavoidable for employees to get injured in the premises of their office, it’s every business owner’s responsibility to ensure that everything is working out smoothly, and limit the risk of acquiring a lawsuit.
Business owners’ responsibilities for others are quite vast ‒ from visitors, employees, to next-door neighbors. They’re responsible for providing a safe working environment for everyone. Therefore, here are the essential things every business owner need to understand when it comes to personal injury claims:
1. Negligence Can Result to Lawsuits
Bad things and accidents can happen in the workplace, leading victims to seek medical treatment. How can negligence from these accidents result in a lawsuit? More importantly, on what grounds will a company be legally responsible for an accident?
There are four elements of negligence that leads to lawsuits:
- a legal duty of acting sensibly and deliberately
- the breach of duty or failure to act wisely and reasonably
- the causal connection between the accident and the conduct
- the damages and loss the stemmed directly from the accident
An individual or business is negligent if they fail to exercise care to avoid harm and injury to other individuals and their property. In other words, they were unable to do what a reasonable person would do given in a similar circumstance.
2. Employees Can Be Responsible For Their Accidents
If an accident happens in a business, owners should also investigate the situation as objectively as possible, especially if they have a suspicion of the other party of being at fault. Employers need to become unbiased to be able to identify certain holes in the procedure.
Perhaps, the ideal places to start are the records for the training provided. Having a tangible proof about a worker’s understanding can certainly tell a lot about the situation. Sometimes, after an intensive investigation, it’s later revealed that the employee is responsible for the incident.
3. Employers Are Mandated To Provide Health and Safety Training for Employees
Employers have the legal responsibility of ensuring that their staff is receiving adequate safety and health training enabling them to improve their confidence and skills. Various legislations and regulations require businesses to provide essential information, supervision, and training to workers ensuring the overall safety and health of everyone in the workplace.
Additionally, owners must also give the extra care of duty to particular members of the staff that are either new, pregnant, or younger workers (under 18 years old) by providing employees with health and safety training, together with clear information, advice, and instruction.
Doing so helps workers:
- decrease work-related absences and illnesses
- prevent the financial costs of accidents
- create safety in the workplace and positive health
- ensure that they know the workplace risks and hazards, so that they may know how to work safely, without potentially risking their health
4. Examine Your Office Premises Regularly
Employers need to conduct regular workplace inspections to prevent injuries, illnesses, and accidents from happening. By critically examining a workplace, it identifies work hazards that are subject for corrective action. If present, inspections play a vital role in an employees occupational health and safety program.
Employees also need to participate and help with inspection and monitoring. Reporting a malfunctioning device or equipment is vital to keeping everyone safe.
Here are the essential purpose of inspections:
- to listen to concerns of supervisors and workers
- gain further knowledge of jobs and tasks
- identifying already existing and potential hazards
- finding the underlying cause of these hazards
- suggest corrective action
- record and monitor the steps that are taken to control these risks and eliminate these hazards completely
Types of hazards that may exist in a workplace:
- Safety hazards (unsafe work practices and conditions, inadequate machine guards)
- Biological hazards (organisms such as fungi, parasites, bacteria, and viruses)
- Chemical hazards (dust, gas, mist, vapor, solid, liquid, gas)
- Ergonomic hazards (improperly designed workplaces, equipment, and tools, repetitious, strong and forceful movements, improper postures stemming from poor work methods)
- Physical risks (heat, cold, pressure, vibration, noise, energy, electricity, weather)
- Psychosocial risks (overall health and mental well-being such as stress, violence, overwork, bullying)
5. Businesses Need To Have Insurance
Companies spend a lot of time and effort building a stable and profitable business. However, lawsuits can ruin all those years hard work, that’s why a lot of organizations are seeking personal injury liability insurance. These kinds of policies protect owners from liabilities if ever employees are injured at work, or as a result of something a business fails to do.
It’s worth noting that although a lot of insurances protects lawsuits, it won’t necessarily cover everything. Business owners should still head extra precautions to be able to prevent these injuries from happening. For example, if a company has been sued in the past, chances are, the insurance company might not fully cover the damages that are similar to the previous lawsuit. More often than not, they may charge even more. Also, an insurance company needs to be notified immediately for any threatened lawsuits and injuries that may occur.
The Bottom Line
Employees have a right to work in a safe work environment. Therefore, business owners should be aware that their business is their responsibility. Should potential dangers arise, they need to fix the problems as soon as they come up, to hopefully keep them out from the court. It’s also their responsibility to protect their business and personal assets should a lawsuit arise.
For a business to flourish and be well on its way to a legal and hassle-free future, it’s worth the investment to consult an experienced, highly qualified professional attorney who specializes in personal injury law as soon as possible after an accident or injury has happened.
For employees who experienced a workplace injury, it is always best to consult to a personal injury lawyer at the same time.