Businesses of all shapes and sizes face liability issues every day you’re in operation. It’s a concern that is very real for businesses of all sizes in today’s highly litigious world. Failing to take liability seriously for your business can result in financial devastation for your entire organization. The more you understand about your risks and responsibilities, the better able you will be to limit your risks and reduce your exposure to potential liability damages.
Types of Liabilities Businesses Face
Once upon a time, the biggest thing businesses had to worry about was having an unsafe environment for employees or customers. No business wanted to have customers fall because floors were wet or obstacles were in the way. Today, the risks have expanded greatly and businesses have a host of new liability concerns – some you may not have even dreamed of yet. These are a few of the highlights that need to weigh heavily in your planning – though certainly not all of the liability issues your business may face.
Product Safety Liability – With new products being recalled all the time for potential safety issues, a lot of attention (not to mention legal action) is turning to products that are being manufactured and sold. Whether your business is the maker of the product or simply the retail location where the product was sold, you could find your business in the crosshairs of aggressive attorneys if someone is injured by a product purchased from or created by your business. It is up to you to vet the products you sell (or make) and to provide your customers with a reasonable expectation of safety when purchasing these products.
Professional Services Liability – Whether you’re a painter, plumber, attorney, or hair dresser you are responsible for the services you provide. Your customers have a reasonable expectation that you will meet certain professional standards when providing these services and if you fail to do so, whether by design or by accident, you can face significant financial consequences – not to mention the damage to your reputation and that of your business.
Safety of Facility and Grounds – Slips, trips, and falls account for a substantial number of liability lawsuits filed each year. Falls can be painful and if injuries occur, it can cause your customers to miss work, accrue medical expenses, and may even cause significant pain and suffering. Of course, those aren’t the only types of injuries that can occur on your property. A tree limb on your property could fall on a customer’s vehicle causing damage and countless other accidents can happen that will leave you responsible, in the eyes of the law, for damage to people or their property
Financial Information and Personal Data – In some legal circles, this is new territory to discover, but lawyers are making their way quickly into the new Wild West of liability for data and information. The bottom line is that businesses today collect a lot of data from their customers. Depending on the type of business you operate, you may have access to more of this data than other businesses – or less. If you accept credit cards, though, you have access to sensitive financial and personal information about your customers and you have a responsibility to protect that information. What this means is that it is critical to choose your credit card processing and POS systems, like Clover Station, carefully to protect this sensitive information.
How to Address Key Liability Issues in Business Today
Because liability and litigation aren’t going anywhere, it is essential for businesses to be proactive in protecting themselves from liability lawsuits. The more steps you take to protect your business, the better you can sleep at night knowing that your needs are protected. These are a few critical first steps:
Invest in the Right Kinds of Insurance – Work with your business insurance agency to make sure you have full-service protection for your business. General liability insurance doesn’t meet the rapidly evolving needs businesses have today for liability protection. Consider additional liability coverages, such as professional liability coverage (errors and omissions), cyber liability insurance, product recall insurance, and an umbrella policy to assist with coverage gaps.
Obtain Liability Waivers – The list could go on. The great news is that you can obtain legal liability waivers directly over your mobile phone and other devices if you use Clover Mobile and the use of Clover Apps like SimpliSign.Bungee JumpingSome businesses are riskier than others. If you own a business or provide a service that is inherently risky, it is best to obtain liability waivers from your customers. This includes a wide range of businesses and services such as:
- Sky Diving
- Scuba Diving
- Jet Ski Rentals
- Wildlife Encounters
Safety Training, Equipment, and Education – The best line of defense against litigation for liability is a good line of offense. Be proactive in safety training for your employees and make sure you’ve invested in top of the line educational materials, tools, technologies, and gear to make your workplace as safe as possible.
Whether you’re using the full-sized Clover POS Station or you’re using Clover Mini, Clover Mobile, or Clover Go; it is critical to make your business as safe as possible for the physical, financial, and personal needs of your customers. Doing this will reduce your liability risks and increase your good reputation within the community.