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Personal Injury Litigation In COVID- How Businesses Can Stay Safe

Personal Injury Litigation In COVID- How Businesses Can Stay Safe

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted businesses in more than one way. Sales have dried up and organizations have been forced to move over to remote operations. To make things worse, there is a risk of litigation as employees or customers may fall sick on your premises and blame your organization. The risk gets bigger as you reopen and start having employees coming back to work and customers returning to shop. Right now, having a litigation risk mitigation plan in place becomes a no-brainer for any safe business owner.

In creating a litigation risk mitigation plan, conducting a tailored risk assessment specific to your industry and business operations is crucial. This assessment should pinpoint potential vulnerabilities, such as workplace safety protocols, contractual obligations, and health and safety regulations compliance. Collaboration with legal experts, like a personal injury lawyer, and insurance professionals is essential to develop a comprehensive strategy that minimizes exposure and ensures a prompt and effective response in case of legal action.

But coming up with the right set of strategies is easier said than done. It means a lot of work as you will have to analyze the specific details of your operation to understand the challenges and come up with a strategic plan. Further, there are broader considerations that would require your attention as you reopen in the current regulatory environment. A personal injury lawyer has the knowledge and expertise to help you deal with all aspects of legal matters concerning a personal injury litigation. Since you must consult a legal expert to come up with a plan, here are some factors that can help.

Have employee safety measures in place 

As organizations reopen, employee health and safety are paramount. There are several governmental and expert guidelines that you will have to follow as regulations to get back to work again. You will have to take adequate social distancing measures at your workplace, which may require a complete change of the office setup. Social distancing must be at least six feet from one person to another. While open office spaces were highly implemented in the past to boost collaboration and open communication, putting barriers and shifting to close and well-ventilated office spaces are highly recommended during the new normal. Further, the provision of personal protective equipment and sanitizers is also mandatory. While some of these guidelines do not sound practical, there is no choice but to have them in place. Doing so would protect your staff from contracting the infection and also keep your business safe from workers’ compensation claims. Have all your employees tested for COVID-19 with corporate testing services from Drip Hydration. The results of standard RT-PCR tests are available within 72 hours while the results of Rapid Antigen Tests are ready within 15 minutes, helping you protect your employees and your business by providing a safe workspace.

Facilitate cleaning and sanitation 

Another important measure that can help you steer clear of personal injury claims as a business is by ensuring the cleaning and sanitation of your premises. A proper program in place can go a long way in safeguarding your workforce, customers, and visitors from the infection. It also shows that you are following a reasonable duty of care as a business in case a claim arises in the future. When it comes to designing such a program, you need to pay attention to aspects like responsibility, consistency, and effectiveness. Further, you must record compliance with the cleaning process with an accurate and ongoing log of the timing that can validate your efforts during litigation. 

By partnering with a professional cleaning company, you can enhance your overall risk mitigation efforts, creating a safer environment for your stakeholders while bolstering your defense against potential litigation. Professional cleaning companies have specialized knowledge and training in sanitation protocols, ensuring that cleaning procedures are thorough and effective. They can provide detailed records and documentation of their cleaning activities, helping you maintain a credible and accurate compliance log.

Provide requisite warnings 

Businesses serving the public should go the extra mile by posting written warnings that alert the customers and visitors of the presence of a contagion. Further, you must also state the steps that you have implemented to protect everyone on the premises. Also, request the visitors to observe reasonable precautions for avoiding exposures to themselves or others. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all template for such warnings, you can connect with lawyers providing quality legal services for guidance about their text. Proper messaging can make or break your defense in case you come across litigation accusing the business of negligence. 

Ensure compliance with government regulations 

Not complying with government regulations is another reason that your business may get into a fix in the COVID situation. Governmental decrees on safety measures are deemed necessary at this stage, however challenging their implementation may be. Further, observing the guidelines may get tricky from the litigation risk mitigation perspective because they keep changing from time to time. But a reasonable, straightforward compliance plan puts you in a safe place as you reopen the business. You must also keep abreast of guideline developments, so that you can update your plan as the situation evolves. Finally, communicate the plans frequently with your employees and visitors if needed.

Realign business delivery services 

Right now, you may also have to realign business delivery services to avoid personal injury litigation. For example, retail stores can switch to e-commerce or curbside pickup model for avoiding visitors’ contact and steering clear of visitor premises liability. The idea shouldn’t be confined to traditional retailers only but is worth considering for other industries as well. The initiative can go a long way in curbing the risk of infection. Further, it can also help you prove in the court that you had gone the extra mile for customer safety from the virus with this measure. It definitely adds weight to your case and gives you stronger defense. 

Educate Employees

It’s crucial to educate your employees on the safety protocols they need to follow and the basic rules they need to keep in mind to avoid personal injury litigation. For instance, remind your employees to always wear personal protective equipment, such as face coverings, wash hands, and use a hand sanitizer to prevent transmitting or acquiring any germs in the workplace.

It’s a good idea to carry out a pre-orientation every time to keep your employees reminded of your safety guidelines. Inspect their PPEs and ensure they’re not sick before starting their shift. Enforce guidelines such as self-quarantine if an employee has a fever to avoid transmission of any type of infection. Many business owners are becoming more aware of the importance of regular employee checkups to ensure that all employees are fit to perform their tasks. 

Taking these risk mitigation measures can surely make your life easier as a business owner reopening in the pandemic era. Not only do they reduce the chances of litigation in the first place, but also put you in a better position if things go wrong. 

COVID-19 restrictions have eased. Thanks to widespread vaccination efforts and a better understanding of preventive measures. It allowed businesses to operate more freely, permitted people to gather with fewer limitations, and facilitated the reopening of schools and other institutions. However, it's crucial to note that the situation is still highly dynamic. Businesses must stay vigilant to keep everyone safe in their establishments to avoid dealing with personal injury litigation.

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