What to do when someone gets hurt at your business

It’s a business owner’s worst nightmare: Someone gets injured on your premises and suddenly you’re facing the possibility of a liability claim or, worse, a lawsuit.

It’s easy to overreact in this situation. Knowing what to do beforehand can help you handle the situation calmly and efficiently. Use this simple guide to come up with a plan for dealing with an injury at your business.

1. Seek medical attention immediately

It goes without saying that the injured party’s well-being should be your first priority regardless of what happened. Failing to seek appropriate care as soon as possible is almost certain to get you in legal trouble no matter the cause of an accident.

With any serious injury, call 911 immediately. You may be able to treat minor injuries like cuts and abrasions at the scene and encourage the injured party to seek medical attention from their regular medical provider.

If you have any doubts about the severity of the injury, err on the side of caution and seek professional attention.

2. Inspect and document the place where the injury occurred

Sometimes an accident is just an accident, and an injured customer or employee has to prove that you were negligent for you to be liable. If a dangerous condition caused the accident, they must show that you knew about its existence and had sufficient time to repair or correct it.

Once the person’s injuries have been taken care of, inspect the site of the injury for any potential dangers. Take photos of the area and, if a danger exists, remove it promptly or close off the location to ensure that no one else gets hurt.

Recording an audio or video description of the scene can help you create an accurate written report after the fact.

3. Collect evidence and interview witnesses

Once you’ve documented the scene exactly how it was at the time of the accident, you can collect any other evidence. Record the victim’s statement if possible, and check if the location was covered by video surveillance cameras.

If there are any witnesses, ask them to describe what happened in as much detail as they can. Record their statements or save signed written versions. Be sure to ask them if they captured any photos or videos of the incident.

4. Notify your insurer

As soon as the situation is under control, you’ve ensured that there’s no further danger and you have a good idea of what happened, contact your insurer to let them know about the accident. Tell them about any evidence you have that might help with a claim.

If the individual chooses to file a claim, your insurer (or your insurer and lawyers if they file a lawsuit) will take over all communication with them as well as any other related actions.

At John B Wright our goal is to keep your business safe, and your insurance coverage accurate and up-to-date. If you’d like to assess your current insurance, please contact us here.