How much does your business stand to lose in a personal injury lawsuit?
The Occupational Safety and Health Training Administration (OSHA) offers some perspective. Your outlay begins with direct costs, which are typically covered by insurance.
While it mostly depends on the nature and severity of the injury, the average direct costs range from $1,000 to $20,000. You can add another $10,000 for lost productivity.
Then there are indirect costs. These are uninsured expenses that must be paid from your pocket. OSHA suggests that indirect costs are 200% to 1,000% higher than direct costs. Examples include:
- Interruptions to operations
- Hiring or training replacements
- Property and equipment repairs
- Damage to reputation and public image
- Reduced employee performance and morale
The US Department of Labor estimates that organizations spend almost $1 billion per week on worker’s compensation insurance alone.
Whether you’re a two-man coffee shop or a fifty-strong supermarket, preparation and prevention are your best defenses against personal injury lawsuits. Here’s what you need to know.
Safety Training and Education
Regardless of how innocuous the job might be, informing your staff on effectively avoiding accidents is an essential precautionary measure. Start by establishing detailed health and safety guidelines based on your industry requirements. Following are some additional steps:
- Provide and upgrade safety equipment
- Specify emergency contact numbers and fire exit locations
- Carry out regular safety inspections
- Discuss health and safety matters in meetings
Site Cleaning and Maintenance
Another key accident prevention measure involves keeping your premises clean and clutter-free. Many slip and fall injuries result from hazards and obstacles that could have simply been removed. These strategies can help:
- Designate specific areas for disposal and storage
- Promptly secure flammable or harmful chemicals
- Ensure that spills and leaks are cleaned immediately
- Conceal exposed cables to reduce the risk of tripping
Take the time to obtain the contact details for an experienced and reputable personal injury lawyer. It’s best to partner with a local attorney.
So, if your business is in Texas, for instance, then you may want to look for someone who specializes in personal injury in Houston. Being nearby allows you to visit them for a face-to-face consultation.
Always work with attorneys who are intimately familiar with your industry and ideally have a history of similar clients. Remember to consult your lawyer first before making any decisions in response to an accident.
General Liability Insurance
Even with all possible precautions in effect, there’s no guarantee that an accident won’t happen.
General liability insurance provides the coverage you need to forgo the cost of liability claims. Make sure to always pay on time and comply with applicable corporate regulations to keep your premiums low.
While general liability insurance covers third-party damages, you’ll need worker’s compensation insurance and commercial property insurance to cover employee accidents and property damage respectively.
Personal injury lawsuits can be painful to deal with – especially when claims are illegitimate. That said, it’s important to always be diplomatic when facing cases. Your reputation depends on it.