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Having a personal injury claim made against your business can be troubling. Not only does it mean someone is holding your business responsible for an injury that has befallen them, but there are other factors that can impact your company.
We explain what happens during a personal injury dispute and highlight the help available to businesses.
A personal injury claim is essentially a negotiation. The injured party needs to be able to prove their injuries are legitimate and caused by negligence on the part of your company.
This involves their solicitor contacting your business to outline the injuries and when they were caused, and asking you to accept or deny liability for the injury. Accepting liability means that you can begin the process of settling the claim outside of court.
Working with a solicitor, the injured party works out a suitable compensation settlement. This is based on their injuries and the potential loss of earnings.
Their solicitor will then liaise with you and your legal team to reach a settlement – an amount of compensation the injured party would be happy to accept. If they are happy to accept this, the compensation is paid to the injured party and the matter is considered closed.
In the event that a settlement cannot be reached, or if you deny liability for any injuries claimed, the personal injury dispute may be taken to court to reach a conclusion.
This is when evidence, based on injuries to the claimant (the person making a claim) and accounts from witnesses, will be taken into account by a judge. This will be used to help the judge and jury – depending on the size of the case – decide whether or not your business was responsible for the injuries suffered. The judge’s decision will also dictate the amount you have to pay in fees and compensation.
It’s important to note that the longer a claim is, the more you can expect to pay in legal fees.
Whether you decide to settle or go to court, it’s important that after a claim or legal case to make sure you take the appropriate steps to prevent this from happening again.
Following a personal injury claim against your business, one of your first steps should be reassessing your health and safety provision. For instance, was there an issue that led to the accident? If so, how will it be rectified?
Reiterating to staff the need to be vigilant and report any health and safety concerns is also key. Putting measures in place to avoid issues developing, and making sure your health and safety processes are as water tight as possible, can go a long way in helping reduce the chances of a claim being made in the future.
To help with personal injury disputes, FSB provides its members with access to a specialist legal protection scheme.
The scheme puts members in contact with dedicated legal and tax specialists who can advise on a number of issues, including personal injury claims. Members also get access to legal cost insurance, helping to protect businesses from hefty legal fees.
Other benefits include:
To find out more about how FSB can help your business deal with personal injury claims, get in touch with a member of our team or visit the FSB Legal Protection Scheme page.
Legal protection covers various scenarios and ensures you and your business are covered