If a customer injures themself on your company property, you could be liable for costly medical bills and legal expenses. Find out what to do when someone gets hurt and how to mitigate your risks.

No matter what type of business you run, you’re responsible for keeping your workplace free of unsafe conditions. This includes everything from exposed nails to faulty flooring.

If you don’t take care of your business premises, and a client injures themself as a result of your negligence, you can be held financially responsible for costly expenses.

In this article, we take a look at what steps you should take if someone gets injured on your company property.

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What to Do If a Customer Gets Injured on Business Property

The Scenario: A Slip and Fall Accident

Say you run a company in which your clients frequently visit your office. You could be anything from an accountant to an interior decorator.

Regardless of your exact occupation, you consider yourself to be a responsible business owner. You file your taxes, you have insurance, and you’ve never had any workplace injuries in your office. After all, your employees mostly work at computers and they never operate any sort of heavy machinery. What sort of dangerous conditions could there possibly be?

Unfortunately, one day when a client visits your office, an accident does occur. Some water has been left on the ground after an employee knocked over his glass. The client slips and falls on your wet floor, badly injuring her arm. Now what?

Here are the steps you should take in this scenario, or any other event of injury or illness of a customer that occurs on your business premises:

Step 1: Seek medical attention for the injured party

The first thing you need to do in the event of an accident is get medical treatment right away. Never underestimate the severity of an injury and always err on the side of caution.

If the injury is very clearly superficial, such as a small cut, still encourage your client to get checked out by their health provider as soon as possible.

Step 2: Inspect the area where your customer was injured

Once you’ve ensured that your client is okay or they are on their way to the hospital, take a look at where the accident occured. See if you can find any obvious causes of the incident, such as a wet floor, shards of glass, or an exposed nail.

Take pictures and notes of what you find, so that you have evidence to refer to in the event that your client decides to file a lawsuit against your business.

If you do notice any hazards, fix it right away to prevent similar injuries from happening in the future.

Step 3: Collect witness statements and create an incident report

If anyone saw the accident take place, ask them for statements and contact information (if you don’t already have it).

It’s also a good idea to put together an incident report to record what happened. This should be a standard document that all employees have access to and know how to fill out in the event of an accident. You can include any witness statements you collect in this report.

Step 4: Contact your insurance provider

The final step if a customer gets hurt on company property is to get in touch with your insurance company. At this point, your insurer will likely take over and contact your client on your behalf.

Related: What is a structured settlement and how does it work

How Professional Liability Insurance Can Protect You

Having small business insurance covers you as an entrepreneur if you are sued by a client, even if you are not at fault.

This policy can give you peace of mind that you and your business will not come to financial ruin due to any medical bills or legal fees resulting from claims of negligence.

Product features include:

  • Errors and Omissions coverage up to $5M
  • Optional add-on packages to fit your business needs, such as:
    • Commercial General Liability coverage up to $5M, which includes $1M Non-Owned Auto
    • Office Contents coverage up to $250K
    • Privacy Breach Expense coverage up to $100K
  • Unlimited Access to a Legal Helpline
  • Coverage for businesses with up to 20 employees
  • Flexible monthly and annual payment options

Related: The Importance of Liability Waivers for Small Businesses

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