How to Protect Your Business from Personal Injury Lawsuits

injury, Wheaton business lawyersIf you own a business, there is a good chance that your employees, suppliers, vendors, and, obviously, your customers will regularly on your property. You will, undoubtedly, work hard to protect the well-being of each person who visits your business and to give them a safe and comfortable experience at your place of business.

Unfortunately, however, accidents do happen from time to time, and when they occur, people are sometimes injured. Believe it or not, injury-causing accidents can even occur on your property, leaving you potentially open to a personal injury claim. The good news is that there are several things that you can do to limit your possible liability if someone is even injured while visiting or working at your company.

Proactive Measures

The best way to limit your personal injury liability, of course, is to prevent accidents from happening as much as possible. This means that you need to have preventive measures in place against potential injuries instead of reacting to accidents when they occur. Such preventive measures generally include comprehensive safety policies, procedures, and protocols throughout your business.

You should also identify possible areas of concern, such as doorways with mats on the floor that could become a tripping hazard. Similarly, understand and anticipate weather-related issues, such as accumulations of snow and ice and damage caused to your parking lots and walkways by exposure to the elements.

Necessary but dangerous maintenance activities should be conducted outside of your peak customer hours, for sure, and outside of business hours completely if possible. Making repairs, mopping floors, and replacing light bulbs in the ceiling, for example, can most likely be done before you open or after you close for the day.

Constant Vigilance

Having a plan is great, but you need to implement it and make it part of your business culture. If safety is a common topic that is addressed through regular communication, training sessions, and meetings, it will never be far from your team’s minds. Be open to safety ideas from every single member of your staff. If an idea will reduce the chance of an accident, it should not matter who came up with it—get it implemented as soon as you can.

Your safety policies should be clearly written out in your employee handbook, which should define the responsibilities of each person in your company for preventing injury-causing accidents. You might also consider including safety violations in your company’s disciplinary policy, as well as offering incentives for meeting safety-related goals. While you might not be able to stop every accident, actions such as these can demonstrate that you are not negligent in regard to safety.

Adequate Insurance

If you have employees, you must have workers’ compensation insurance to cover them in the event of a work-related injury. However, there is no state or federal requirement for your company to have commercial liability insurance. Without liability insurance, a single accident could potentially bankrupt you and your company. Before you speak to an insurance broker, talk to a qualified attorney. A broker is going to try to sell you policies based on the commission that he or she will receive, while your lawyer will objectively help you determine your potential risks and the amount of liability protection you need. Then you can find the liability policy or policies that offer the desired level of security.

Call a Wheaton Business Law Attorney

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC, our experienced DuPage County business lawyers can help you protect yourself and your company in the event of an injury-causing accident. Call 630-665-2500 to schedule a confidential consultation with a member of our team today.

 

Source:

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/resources/Pages/faq.aspx

Examining the Pros and Cons of a Written Employment Contract

Illinois business law attorneysWhile the state of Illinois is considered an "at-will" employment state – meaning either employer or employee may terminate the relationship without cause or reason – there are situations in which an employment contract may be necessary. What are these situations, and what potential pitfalls might you, the employer, face? The following explains the potential advantages and disadvantages to written employment contracts.

When Might a Contract Be Necessary?

Employment contracts are often most useful when employers need to protect themselves from the potential of competition, revealing of trade secrets, or problematic employees. However, some companies also use them to entice highly desired employees. For example, an employer might offer a pre-determined salary increase over a five-year time period; putting it in writing may mean the difference between hiring a top-rated employee and losing that employee to your competitor.

Potential Advantages of Employment Contracts

Probably the biggest advantage to employment contracts is the ability control an employee – be it through ensuring they do not share trade secrets or compete against you, or simply ensuring you have clear grounds for termination, should the employee fail to perform their duties as expected. However, there are other potential benefits as well. A contract can also protect you from litigation for wrongful termination, and it offers the ability to clearly define your expectations of the employee.

Potential Disadvantages to Employment Contracts

Although the benefits to an employment contract are notable, there are some disadvantages as well. One of the most concerning is the way a contract may limit your flexibility. For example, if your company undergoes significant changes, or you need to terminate the employee for reasons outside of those outlined in the contract (i.e. no longer needing the employee), you may run into trouble.

This is why it is critical to discuss the possible pros and cons of using an employment contract with your attorney. Further, you should ensure you seek guided assistance in the drafting of that contract, should you decide to use one.

Contact Our DuPage County Business Law Attorneys

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC, we take the time to understand the unique challenges of our clients and their businesses. In every situation, we strive to find creative solutions to meet their needs. Learn how we can help your company. Call 630-665-2500 and schedule a consultation with our DuPage County business law attorneys today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2389&ChapterID=68