Usually, injuries are the fault of a person, not a business. Some people cause their own injuries by engaging in reckless conduct, such as horseplay by an unsupervised swimming pool. Other times, an individual can clearly show that another person is to blame for their injuries. If a drunk driver causes a crash, for example, that impaired motorist likely has legal and financial liability for any losses reported by other people involved in the incident.
However, in certain scenarios, someone injured in a car crash or premises liability incident might blame a business rather than an individual for their injuries. When might a company have legal and financial liability for the injuries suffered by an individual?
After negligent property maintenance
One of the leading causes of personal injury claims against a business is premises liability. Visitors to a company could end up hurt because they slip on wet floors or get hurt by falling objects. When a company doesn’t properly maintain its facilities or keep a business adequately staffed, members of the public could incur major injuries as a result of those failures. Those hurt due to negligent property maintenance may have grounds for a premises liability claim.
After an employee causes someone’s injuries
Employers cannot control every action that their workers take, which is why they should be careful about who they hire. Proper screening and adequate training are crucial to companies that want to mitigate the liability triggered by having employees. Vicarious liability rules generally make employers responsible for the losses suffered by other parties due to the negligence or misconduct of their employees while they are on the clock. If a worker causes a crash while driving as part of their job or makes some mistake in a manufacturing facility that leads to a consumer’s injury, the business rather than the worker may ultimately be liable.
After the release of unsafe products
Businesses may also face insurance claims or lawsuits when the products they release for public consumption are unsafe. Defective products can lead to significant injuries. People could get hurt because of design issues or manufacturing mistakes. Even cut-rate materials could lead to a product catastrophically failing and injuring someone. Low-quality services provided by a business could also lead to injury. If a vehicle repair shop does not actually resolve the problem with a vehicle’s brakes and then they fail in traffic the next day, the company may have responsibility for the low-quality services provided to its client.
Injured consumers often find that businesses have more robust insurance coverage and more assets to help compensate them for the losses they suffered than an individual person might. As such, recognizing when a business may be liable for someone’s injuries can help people pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other costs.