The 4 Common Lawsuits That Small Businesses Encounter (and How to Avoid Them)

business employees

Many people assume that business-related lawsuits happen only to big corporations. However, small businesses also get sued and, when it happens, it may lead to bankruptcy.

That is why small businesses should be vigilant and do everything they can to prevent lawsuits. When any of the lawsuits below happen to you, hire a lawyer as soon as you can to protect your small business.

Accidents at the Workplace

Accidents may occur anywhere, whether you operate a warehouse or factory or run an office. One of the most common accidents in the workplace is slip and falls. A wet surface, due to spilled beverage or leaking ceiling, can cause an employee to slip and then fall. The accident may cause a serious injury that may lead to hospitalization and, if there is negligence on your part, a lawsuit.

The employee will hire a personal injury attorney and ask that they are compensated for the medical bills they incurred as well as lost income.

It is part of your duty as an employer to provide a safe working environment for your employees. There should be safety equipment available for them at all times.

To prevent slips and falls, make sure there are safety protocols in place. Whenever water or any other liquid is spilled on the floor, clean it up immediately. Leaks need to be patched as soon as possible. Acquire “wet floor” warning signs that can be placed for liquids that have yet to be cleaned up or cannot be cleaned up easily.

In addition, keep walkways free of clutter. Cords for computers and pieces of machinery need to be taped down on the floor or along the walls.

Breach of Contract

You enter all sorts of contracts with clients and employees all the time. A contract is a legal agreement between two parties. If one party does not keep their end of the deal, they will be brought to court.

You may be sued by a partner for breach of contract. This may include the failure to deliver goods or failure to pay for delivered goods, revealing a trade secret to a third party, etc.

Your employee, too, may sue you for breach of contract. If you fail to pay your employee’s wages or have denied them of employee benefits, they may bring you to court for breach of contract.

The best way to make sure that this never happens to you is to let an attorney go through the contract and clarify the terms. You should follow up on the promises you made on the contract at all times.

Premise Liability

business meeting

When a third party has broken into and seriously harmed one of your employees, you may be liable.

There should be sufficient protection in your small business for the safety of your employees. This includes providing locks, security cameras, trimmed bushes and trees, and security guards to the vicinity. If the court found that there was negligent security on the premises, you will be liable for the injuries or the death of an employee in the hands of a third party.

Intellectual Property Rights

When you use another entity’s copyrighted material without permission, you may be sued for plagiarism of intellectual property theft. If found guilty, you will be forced to pay for profits and damages that the business or individual who holds the intellectual property.

Even if there were no malicious intent to deceive or steal, you will be held accountable. That is why you should not use an image that you found after a Google Search. If you need a logo, ask a professional to create one that is unique.

There is no 100% guarantee that you will never be brought to court for any business-related charges. The best you can do is to prevent them by being aware of the local and national laws that apply to you and following them as honestly as you can.

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