Home Business Insights & Advice When can a business get sued for personal injury?

When can a business get sued for personal injury?

by John Saunders
13th Jul 22 11:19 am

Businesses of any size that welcome customers or guests into their workplace are responsible for ensuring their safety. But when the company fails to uphold that duty and the responsibilities that come with it, it could face legal action from the customer. Personal injuries can be life-changing because of the pain, suffering, and lifestyle changes the injured customer experiences.

If you’re a business that has avoided mishaps, here are the ways your business can be sued:

Acts of negligence

Businesses facing legal consequences are primarily responsible for several types of negligence. There are four elements involved in a negligent act. These are a breach of duty, causation, a duty of care, and damages. If the customer was injured due to the business owner’s failure to provide a safe environment, the customer would seek recovery for their suffering. To be able to attend to their needs, they’ll seek legal counsel from reputable law firms such as Townsend Law LLC and others if the business refuses to cooperate.

The business may be proven guilty, and the injured customer has grounds for suing during these situations:

  • When the customer was on the premises, slipped, and fell on the floor. Buildings occupied by businesses are expected to be clean and safe for traffic. If the customers were injured in a dimly lit area, crowded spaces, and places with wet floors without signages, the business will be deemed irresponsible.
  • The customer will need to gather evidence that the business knew about the conditions and ignored to attend to them. The situation also applies to similar incidents that might happen outside the business and depend on the case.
  • If the business serves food and drinks such as a restaurant and a food stall and is responsible for food poisoning. Customers falling ill after eating can still be proven negligent in court despite how challenging it can be to establish the source of poisoning.
  • Personal injury caused by defective products through design, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, and warning is referred to as product liability. It’s an area of the law that awards compensation to customers injured by defective products.
    • Manufacturing defects – products that weren’t assembled properly
    • Design defects – products designed outside compliance and industry standards
    • Warning defects – the warning label is absent from the product, too blurry, or too small to read.
  • Pharmaceutical liability is another example of how customers can pursue legal action against a business releasing specific drugs without proper clinical testing. The laboratory can face serious legal action if the packaging doesn’t come with administration and warning labels.

Duty of care

Customers come to your place of business for purchases or services. They’re likely to receive invitations to shop at their place to make a profit. Therefore, the business owner owes a degree of duty of care to every person walking into their premises. Businesses must express duty of care with caution based on the kind of visitors that walk into the business.

The duty of care features rules that rely on different jurisdictions per state. Some of these jurisdictions are based on the relationship between the victim and the landowner. For example, landowners owe the most significant duty to the customers who fall under the category of invitees.

Breaching duty

The victim is responsible for proving that the business has breached its duty as the care standard is being set up. The workers might not observe the proper cleaning protocol or ignore the routine schedule. As a result, the floor is neglected despite the presence of water or liquids, leading to employees or customers slipping. A worker could easily spot the wet flooring but choose to clean it or inform the cleaning staff.

Causation

The negligence claim has an essential aspect that shows the injury resulting from the breach of duty. The victim must prove that the violation is the actual cause of harm. Proving that the customer got hurt at the place of business won’t be enough. It’ll be either because of what the company did or didn’t do. That should be the reason the consumer was injured.

Damages

The customer must prove that they’ve been physically harmed, which would warrant paying hospital bills or pain and suffering through the loss of wages or work. The victim must be able to provide powerful preceding aspects to make a claim stand.

The following are other cases wherein employees were the responsible party or the victims of workplace injuries:

  • Intentional acts are caused by either the business owner or the employee. It can happen when a staff member punches a customer without justifiable reason and causes severe injury such as a broken nose. If your worker was responsible for such an act, you as the business owner could also be held liable. That’s because the victim acquired the injuries while doing their job.
  • Compensatory damage applies when the victim won’t be able to recover nor find a lawyer for legal representation due to the negligence of the other party. For example, a patient suffers from medical malpractice due to misreading or failure to read lab results. The patient must deal with whatever effects caused by this mistake such as an effect on their health or loss of wages because the patient couldn’t return to work. And the loss of wages can, in turn, cause mental anguish.
  • Workers’ compensation protects workers exposed to dangerous chemicals. The toxic tort law also protects them. An example of a case was when an employer asked the workers to handle volatile chemicals that have a history of exploding. The employer was fully aware of this danger; one of the workers died due to the explosion while one was severely injured. The Supreme Court granted could hold the employer liable despite having immunity from direct lawsuit.

Conclusion

Personal injury cases can apply to both customers and employees. There are also many cases wherein the employee’s conduct has cost the business a significant loss. The owner and the employees need to understand what to do to ensure that everyone is safe in the place of business, from following compliances down to minor job tasks. You can avoid inconveniences of epic proportions through cooperation and proper training of your team members.

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