General Liability Insurance: How to Handle a Fall on Your Property
As a business owner, it is important to have policies in place to help minimize risks associated with third-party accidents in your business. When a customer slip-and-fall occurs, your team should know what to do. While your general liability insurance can cover the costs, you need to cut the risk of losses in the first place. What should happen when someone suffers a fall?
First, Educate Your Team on Insurance
Management members of your company should have some information and experience when it comes to business insurance. They need to understand:
What type of business insurance the company has (especially general liability insurance
Who they need to call when an accident
What they need to say and do when an incident occurs
It is very important to streamline this process. When an accident happens, your team may have only a few minutes to take the action to minimize losses. There are several things to keep in mind here.
Take Care of the Individual
The primary goal at the time of a fall should be to react to the incident. Help the individual who fell. Ensure they get back up. Call for emergency help if necessary. Take steps to protect the individual and reassure them.
Never admit guilt during this process. Statements such as, “I forgot to put a wet floor sign up” are not good ones to make. They might give the customer grounds for a lawsuit later. It is okay to make a statement such as, “I’m sorry this happened to you.”
Document the Area
Once the individual gets care, document what happened. Consider the following:
Take pictures of everything as it is. Do not move anything before doing so. You want the insurance agent to see what the area looked like before and after the incident.
Gather information from the individual. This includes his or her name and contact information.
The team should not promise any compensation. Instead, state the company’s insurance company will contact the injured party if necessary.
Contact the insurance company right away. Document the incident thoroughly in writing. File this information with the agent. Even if the injured party does not file a claim, you will need to have documentation of the injury on file.
In most cases, the liability insurance agent will handle the process from here. This includes speaking to the individual, determining what type of care he or she received, and then paying for any settlements. If the case goes to court, the insurer will generally provide defense for the company in the matter. Be sure each member of your company’s management has the ability to take these steps if an injury occurs.