Accidents happen, but they shouldn’t take away your livelihood.
It‘s important to understand that a claim could evolve into a lawsuit, even if you’re not at fault. We want to help protect you by sharing some lawsuit mitigation strategies.
It’s important to have well-documented safety practices and procedures. A proactive approach to safety is the best way to prevent claims. If a claim does occur, documentation shows your intent to do what’s right—and that matters! Having this documentation on hand will help your claims representative build your defense quickly and mitigate the severity of a potential lawsuit.
Example: A policyholder owns and operates a local food distribution center. During a routine delivery, one of the delivery trucks blows a tire in an intersection, injuring another driver and causing damage to their vehicle. The other driver pursues legal action against the food distributor, claiming the food distributor was negligent by not maintaining their vehicles and thereby caused the accident.
Luckily, the business is dedicated to loss prevention, demonstrated by years of documentation on driver-hiring practices, training and monitoring, pre- and post-trip inspections, and vehicle maintenance recordkeeping. The distributor has detailed records showing the business recently replaced the vehicle’s tires and checked the tires for damage before and after each trip. This documentation was crucial to building the distributor’s defense and reducing the severity of the lawsuit.
Tip: Acuity has safety evaluation and documentation resources for our policyholders. Here are a few to get you started.
- Sample Safety Program
- Safety Meeting/Training Attendance Sheet
- Snow Removal Record
- Winter Weather Checklist
If an incident occurs, it’s important to document the details—regardless of who is at fault.
If a customer slips and falls in your store or one of your employees is involved in a car accident, reacting with proper medical care and genuine concern for everyone involved is the right thing to do. Once immediate safety is addressed, documenting the details of the incident is crucial to protecting your business, regardless of who you believe is liable.
Gathering potential evidence right away ensures the facts are retained. Documents created immediately after the incident are seen as more credible, giving you an advantage if it goes to court. You should also submit a claim as soon as possible to help your claims representative gather additional evidence.
If a claim is filed against you, provide your claims representative with documentation of the incident. Receiving this information as soon as possible lends itself to a better claim investigation, which helps us provide you with the best protection against potential litigation.
Example: An Acuity policyholder owns and operates a hotel. A man slips and falls in the lobby. The man denies injury at the time of the fall. Since there is a wet floor sign present, the hotel staff assumes there is nothing to be liable for and does not document the incident. Three days later, the man files a claim against the hotel for his injuries.
There is no recorded evidence of the man denying injury at the time of the incident. The lobby surveillance camera records over previous footage every 24 hours, so there is no evidence of the wet floor signs being present or the severity of the fall. The lack of documentation and collection of evidence at the time of the incident has created a more challenging case for the hotel owner.
Tip: Here are a few incident reporting resources to start using at your business.
- Incident Report Pad
- Employee Incident/Injury Report
- Witness Report
- 5 Helpful Tips for Reporting a Claim to Your Insurance Company
What does this all mean?
Documenting all incidents and reporting claims as soon as possible puts us in the best position to fulfill our promise to you. Like we said at the start, accidents happen—and we’re here to help if they do.
You don’t have to take our word for it. Learn more from these real-life claim stories.