What Small Business Owners Need to Know: Property Liability Lawsuits

As a small business owner, you probably have your hands full directing your business, supervising employees, managing logistics, selecting the right vendors, and dealing with customers.

Unless your small business is a law office, chances are that property liability is probably not at the top of your list…in fact, it may not even be on your list… but it should be!

Here’s why!

Several studies across the insurance industry indicate that at least 40% of all small businesses will experience general or property liability claims within the next ten years.  That’s nearly half of all small businesses!

As a small business owner, you need to be aware of potential liabilities, and how to prevent and mediate them.

Here are the top 10 risks and liabilities for small businesses:

  • Burglary and Theft
  • Water and Freezing Damage
  • Fire Damage
  • Wind and Hail Damage
  • Customer Injury and Damage
  • Customer Slip and Fall
  • Product Liability
  • Reputational Harm
  • Vehicle Accident
  • Individual Hit by Object

When any of these claims arise, they can be costly.

As a small business owner, you need to take basic precautions to avoid claims and lawsuits.  Here are some suggestions to get started:

  1. Evaluate your potential risks and consider purchasing a basic commercial general liability insurance policy for as little as $500 that can cover up to $1 million. Select a reputable insurance agent who can help you determine the best insurance for your business.  Once you purchase insurance, reassess annually.
  2. Prevent injuries and liability claims by inspecting and monitoring workplace conditions.
  3. Detect and correct any potentially unsafe conditions in the workplace and around the office building. Be sure to prepare for snow, ice, flooding, or other dangerous conditions that could affect an employee or customer entering the workplace.  Your liability doesn’t end at the front door.
  4. Create policies and procedures so your employees will be on the lookout for unsafe conditions and correct them promptly.
  5. If any potential hazards can’t be resolved immediately, put out clear warning signs for all employees and customers.
  6. Conduct background checks on all employees prior to hiring.
  7. Create and update emergency plans annually for fires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters.
  8. Keep the building exterior clear of debris and equipment. If the weather is extremely cold, take precautions to avoid freezing pipes.
  9. Establish a safety program for employees that drive as part of their job.
  10. Ensure images or wording used in marketing materials, on your website or on social media are not copyrighted.
  11. Use good judgement when talking about competitors and other businesses. Reputational harm is a serious liability.

Finally, as your business expands, so will your potential liabilities.  It’s critical that you reassess and update your insurance policy as your business grows.

Putting the right insurance in place and establishing good policies and procedures in the workplace will position you to run a successful business!

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout the state of Florida.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.