Regardless of why an accident occurs on some type of commercial property, situations like this can have major legal and insurance-related consequences. You’re accepting some degree of liability just by opening your doors to the public on a regular basis and going about your normal business operations. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to mitigate potential liability risks if an accident occurs on your business’s property.
Seek Medical Assistance or Provide Aid
The first step to take is to check on the affected individual(s). If possible, provide any immediate assistance that may be appropriate (e.g., helping the person up or taking him or her to a safer location). Also, call for medical assistance, even if it looks like others nearby may have already done so.
Gather as Much Information as Possible
Don’t be hesitant to approach or speak with the injured party if it’s possible to do so after the accident occurred. You’re not admitting guilt by taking this action. In fact, it’s typically considered perfectly reasonable to politely approach the affected individual, offer assistance, and ask for basic information. As for what kind of information to gather after an accident has occurred on your business’s property, this list should include:
• Personal info for the injured person (e.g., name, contact info)
• Statements from employees who witnessed the incident
• Statements from other customers or passersby who may have witnessed the accident
After you’ve sought appropriate medical assistance for the affected person(s), make an effort to document everything. In addition to statements from employees and other witnesses, this documentation could involve:
• Any video footage captured by cameras on your premises
• Anything that may have been captured on phones by employees or witnesses
• Any statements that may have been provided by the affected party
Contact Your Insurance Company
Another step you should take as soon as possible if an accident occurs at your place of business is to contact your insurance company. If you put off letting your business insurance provider know about the accident, there may be some issues later, especially if your policy has specific time requirements for reporting certain incidents. Even if the accident is minor, it’s still a good idea to let your insurance company know something happened.
Take the Same Steps if an Employee Is Injured
It’s also possible for an accident on your business’s property to involve an employee. With situations like this, the steps discussed above would still apply. If the affected employee opts to file a workers’ comp claim, any related documentation will become especially important.
Correct Any Issues that May Have Contributed to the Accident
Finally, if the accident was due to some type of structural flaw or other issues with your property, address those issues. For instance, this may mean putting up better signage, fixing loose rails or sidewalks with cracks, or instituting new policies for cleaning up spills or floor moisture.
For business owners, commercial insurance is an absolute necessity because operating a business means assuming certain kinds of risk. For affordable, reliable commercial insurance as well as homeowners, renters, motorcycle, and auto insurance, San Diego residents call on the trustworthy professionals at Altra Insurance Services. Reach out to us today at (800) 719-9972 to learn how we can satisfy all your insurance needs.