6 Steps to Take if a Patron is Injured on Your Property

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Having a patron get injured on your business property can have many repercussions. First of all, you certainly want the injured party to be okay and not have any long-term injuries. Secondly, you also don’t want your business to be affected. If someone gets hurt, it could harm your reputation and erode the trust that your customers have in your business. Plus, the customer may sue you for the injury if there is evidence that your business has been negligent.

If someone is injured on your premises, make sure that you take the proper steps in the aftermath. The top priority is to make sure the customer is okay, and the next is to make sure that your business is protected. The actions you take in the immediate aftermath of an accident could directly bear the well-being of both the customer and your business. Here are the steps you need to take when a patron is injured on your property.

Step 1: Prevent the Injury in the First Place

The first step isn’t technically a step, and it happens before there is an injury in the first place. You need to make sure that your property is as safe as possible before an injury occurs. You need a strong culture of safety within your business. That means having strict procedures in place for safety and sanitation. Floors should not be overwet when mopped, for example. Cupboards must be closed at all times, any tripping hazards need to be removed or covered up immediately, and your staff should understand the principles of customer and employee safety.

You won’t know how many injuries you’ll have prevented. However, beyond preventing harm, having safety measures in place will give customers more confidence in your brand and more trust that they can spend their money with you.

Step 2: Make Sure the Customer is Taken Care Of

Let’s say someone falls at your work. Your number one priority should be that person’s continued safety and treatment of their injuries. Hopefully, it’s a minor bump, and there’s no harm done. However, slips, trips, and falls can have serious consequences. They could suffer from a head injury, broken bones, twisted ankles, or any number of things. If they require medical attention, or if you are unsure, contact emergency services right away. Keep a first aid kit on hand to help with anything they might need. Remain polite and caring and attend to any of their needs, including calling for a ride if they need assistance.

Step 3: Examine the Situation

Once the customer is tended to and is secure, you can start looking into how the accident happened. Talk to your staff to see if they witnessed anything, and ask the customer as well. Gathering this information will help you implement policies that could prevent future injuries and prepare you for a future lawsuit. The information that you collect could be used as evidence to defend yourself, and the customer’s statements at the time may also be relevant. Make sure to document everything you’ve discovered to have it in hand for future use.

Step 5: Talk to Your Insurance Provider

At this point, you should contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. As a responsible business owner, you should have BOP insurance that covers liability issues such as injuries on your property or property damage caused by your business. Making insurance claims can take a long time, so you want to start the process early. They will want all of the information that you have so that they can process your claim correctly.

Insurance will be able to protect you and the customer in the aftermath of the injury. For you, it will ensure that you don’t have to pay out of pocket for medical bills and lost wages for the patron. In turn, the patron will also not have to be responsible for those costs in a situation that may not have been their fault.

Step 6: Work on Your Reputation

Hopefully, this was an isolated accident that could not be prevented or predicted. However, that might not matter if the injured party goes on social media and leaves scathing reviews. Unfortunately, in cases like these, you will have to put out a campaign to maintain or rescue your brand’s public image. Consumers will believe what they read on the internet, so you might have to tell your side of the story.

You should always be empathetic towards the plight of the injured person, but that doesn’t mean that your business needs to suffer because of an accident. The faster you can get out there and put on a marketing offensive, the less of a hit your revenue is likely to take.

Determining Liability

Sometimes it is obvious who is at fault in an accident. However, that is not always the case. For a patron to find you liable for their injuries, they must prove that you had a duty of care towards them. If the person was invited to your property or came in as a customer, then it is your responsibility to let them know about any hazards that might be present. This potential liability goes the same for contractors or other workers that might come to your place of business. If you do not notify them or eliminate the hazard, you could be held liable. That said, if someone is trespassing on your property or you have prohibited them from entering, then you do not have a responsibility towards them for their accident.

When a customer gets injured at a business or a workplace, it can have devastating effects for all parties involved. As a business owner, you must be ethical towards your patrons and ensure they are safe on your premises. However, not everything is predictable, and sometimes accidents happen. In the aftermath, follow these steps to make sure that the customer is okay and that your business is best protected.


About the author

Saman Iqbal

Saman is a law student. She enjoys writing about tech, politics and the world in general. She's an avid reader and writes fictional prose in her free time.

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