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Businesses may be held liable in more situations than they know

Businesses in Philadelphia should be wary of the many dangers that could affect customers and other at-risk individuals. Some worry about a potential slip and fall accident, which is much more common than many believe.

If such an accident occurs and the injury is severe enough to cause pain and high medical bills, the likelihood for a lawsuit increases. A single suit can leave a business on the hook for a simple -- and possibly avoidable -- accident. Many injury suits such as this succeed because they prove that the business or property owner is responsible for the injury.

This is why many businesses are covered by liability insurance. By paying for coverage, the liability of a business is transferred to an insurance company, allowing the business to continue operations both during and after a suit.

Besides a slip-and-fall accident, other situations may arise where a business may be held responsible for the injury of an individual.

If you provide a cellphone to an employee and that employee is involved in an accident while making a call or texting, an injured individual may attempt to find you responsible, as long as the employee was using the device you provided. Such suits have occurred in the past and have been successful.

Positions that require an employee to have a pager may find employers liable as well. Being attached to a job while not on the premises through such a device may mean that the employee is considered on call at any time. This could mean any injury that they cause in an accident could also be blamed on the employer.

But whether a business has liability insurance is not an injured person's concern. All that person needs to worry about is any injuries suffered.

Source: Herald Business Journal, "Business liability and 'it will never happen' moments," Paul Pukis, May 29, 2012

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Gregory R. Gifford
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