Owning and running a business can be overwhelming, but it can also be very rewarding. So many decisions need to be made by a business owner that sometimes risk management gets overlooked. For some industries, the liability issues are more obvious than others. Good liability management reduces the chances of accidents occurring and legal action being taken against you and your business. Below is a list of top five liability issues that concern business owners.
Product safety refers to the area of law where the producer or manufacturer of a good is held responsible for any injuries caused by that product. It protects consumers from harm that could be caused by products purchased. It could be by breach of warranty where the seller failed to fulfill the terms of his promise or guarantee about the product. As a business owner, you should exercise reasonable care when manufacturing and selling a product to avoid negligence charges against your business.
Employers have a duty to keep their employees safe from any harm while on the work premises. Employers should provide:
- Reasonable work duties
- Necessary equipment that is in acceptable condition
- Proper instruction and training to ensure workers carry out their duties in a safe manner
In case an employee is injured while at the workplace and the employee can prove noncompliance on the part of their employer, the employer is usually subject to monetary fines and in some cases, criminal penalties.
This refers to the duty the business owes to visitors of their business location. The duty owed to the visitor varies depending on what the visitor was doing on the premises. The business might be sued for negligence if a person is injured on the property or if the business failed to exercise the needed standard of care. The visitor must prove that the damage or loss suffered was caused by the owner’s breach of duty. The owner should understand the legal status of the visitor while on the property so the owner can understand what duty or standard of care is owed to the visitor to avoid any negligence claims.
Professional liability refers to the legal obligations arising from an error, omission or negligent act during the course of practice of a professional. It’s important to note that the only damages included in professional liability are those that occur due to the professional’s work. If the damages are outside work, it is a personal liability and not professional liability. If a professional fails to provide a certain standard of practice, then they are liable to pay damages caused due to their negligent acts.
Management liability refers to the exposure faced by managers, officers and business entities that arise from governance, benefits, finance, as well as management activities. This is, therefore, the risks faced during the course of running the business. It is sometimes defined as the liability for mismanagement. Personal assets, as well as the business, could be lost.
Every business is faced with legal issues at some point during operations. For a business to be successful, legal issues should be anticipated and tackled in a timely and proper manner. If not, there is the danger of crippling litigation which could mean a loss of funds and sometimes the entire business. The expert team at Woodward, Pires & Lombardo, P.A. are here to help. Contact Cathrine Hunter or Joseph Coleman at (239) 649-6555 or visit www.wpl-legal.com.