Personal injury litigation is among the biggest challenges for businesses operating in the United States. It is difficult to prevent lawsuits by people who wish to sue your company because they only have to prove negligence to make a valid claim. The reasons could range from injuries at premises to those caused by dangerous or defective products and accidents with company vehicles. There could be potential lawsuits by injured workers as well. The risk is a tad higher right now when people can sue companies for getting infected with the virus due to their negligence.
As businesses reopen amid the pandemic, there could be spikes in the infection. When it is not easy to establish the origin of the infection, customers and clients can take the opportunity to blame businesses for the contagion and seek hefty compensation. It would be hard for your small business to bear the burden of such lawsuits, considering that money is already tight. So it makes sense to anticipate the possibility of such lawsuits in uncertain times and take reasonable steps for mitigating the related risks. Here are some strategies that you can rely on.
Covering employees should be the top priority
As you reopen your workplace, the safety and well-being of the employees should be your top priority. They keep your business up and running, which becomes all the more important in a crisis. If employees get infected, you will have to close once again, and there is an additional risk of injury litigation by the sick workers.
It makes sense to follow the guidelines on social distancing and preventive measures to curb the spread of infection among the workforce. Following guidelines also keeps the business on the right side of the law in terms of regulatory compliance.
Go the extra mile with cleaning and sanitation
When it comes to curbing the risk of litigation during the pandemic, going the extra mile with a cleaning and sanitation program for your business can help. Ideally, investing in professional disinfection and sanitation services can go a long way in getting rid of the virus from surfaces and cutting down the risk of infection.
Employee involvement in the program is equally vital to ensure that it works. Communicating the procedures and educating them about the importance of the program makes it all the more effective. Employees can do their bit to save themselves and the visitors from the contagion.
Compliance with government regulations is vital
Most states across the U.S. have issued specific safety regulations and recommendations for businesses to reopen, and they need to comply. Following them, however, is easier said than done. They may not be easy to decipher, and constant updates can make them all the more confusing.
Moreover, there are state-specific regulations that business owners need to understand and comply with, so it is best to learn the norms for your jurisdiction. If you are operating in Tennessee, consulting a personal injury lawyer serving Nashville TN to know more about the risk factors and possible implications would help. For any business that wants to reopen, it is vital to develop a reasonable compliance plan right at the time of reopening.
Issue adequate warnings where needed
Whether you operate in a small office or have sprawling business premises, it makes sense to post written warnings to alert visitors and customers of the possible presence of the infection. You also need to inform visitors to observe reasonable precautions for avoiding exposure to themselves or others. Apart from the warning, the posts must also showcase the general measures your business has taken to curb the spread and protect everyone on-premises.
While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all template for these warnings, the theme runs around the intention of showing that you have taken reasonable measures to ensure protection for the visitors. Although the literature doesn’t contribute directly to cutting the risk of contagion, it goes a long way in mitigating the legal risk for your company.
Identify alternative business delivery services
Another measure to avoid premises liability risk for your business is by preventing contact of visitors with the premises in the first place. If possible, you can consider alternative means to deliver goods or services to your customers. Doorstep deliveries and curbside pick-up are feasible ideas as they facilitate business continuity while keeping the customers away from your premises.
Even as you implement these measures to prevent lawsuits related to on-premises infection, you need to be careful about adequate safety steps with these modes as well. For example, sanitation of packages and temperature checks of delivery staff are some steps that can enhance safety.
The last thing that you would want your business to face right now is litigation. While the risk of premises liability claims runs high, these measures can protect your business to a considerable extent.