Top 10 Ways to Avoid a Personal Injury Lawsuit
A personal injury lawsuit can be a financially devastating incident. If you injure someone and are sued, you can be found liable for all of their damages and medical bills. Read on for the top 10 ways to avoid a personal injury lawsuit.
- Drive carefully: Many personal injury lawsuits occur when a negligent driver breaches his duty of care and causes an accident that leads to injury.
- Make sure your home is a safe place: If you invite guests to your home, they become “licensees” under the law. That means you owe them a reasonable duty to ensure your house is safe and to warn them of dangers. If you fall short of this duty and they are injured, they an sue you.
- Ensure your business is a safe place- A higher standard of care is required if you invite someone to your business. They are referred to as “invitees” and you have a duty to make sure the premises is safe for all your invitees. Failure to do so can subject you to liability for any damages. Slip and fall lawsuits are a common type of lawsuits that arise in such circumstances.
- Post warnings and signs alerting people of any dangers- If you do have a property where something is potentially dangerous- such as rickety stairs for example- then you must post a sign or otherwise warn anyone who is coming to your property. If you don’t warn people when you should have, you can be legally liable for injury that results.
- Understand and know the laws- Different states have different standards and rules for when you are considered negligent or in breach of your duty of care. Understand what is expected of you under the laws so you can make sure to comply.
- Obtain waivers of release where possible- If you are running a business or engaging in an activity where someone could possibly get hurt, ask them to sign a waiver of liability before engaging in the activity. This is common; for example, if you go ice skating the skating rink may ask you to sign a waiver of liability before you go out on the ice.
- Behave with reasonable care in all actions- The law imposes a general duty to act with a reasonable degree of care. Any time you do not act with the care that a reasonable person would show in that situation, you can potentially be considered negligent and thus responsible for damages.
- Don’t intentionally do dangerous activities- Some activities are so dangerous that if you do them, you are “strictly liable” for damages that occur as a result. This standard is called “strict liability.”
- Ensure you have adequate liability insurance- While having liability insurance won’t necessarily protect you from being sued, it does mean that your insurer will pay your legal fees and your damages that result from a lawsuit if one does occur.
- Contact an attorney if you do cause an injury- A personal injury attorney can help you to talk to a person you injure. You may be able to offer them a settlement instead of having them sue and take you to court.