The law defines negligence as a failure on your part to prevent causing harm to another person. In business, if harm is caused to a person on your property, they can take you to court to sue for damages. In today’s litigious environment, companies are encouraged to be extra cautious. You are also encouraged to carry enough insurance in case you are wrongfully accused of negligence. There are four elements necessary for the courts to successfully rule against you in a negligence case including duty, breach and causation as well as damages. Here are three types of negligence to consider.
The levels of negligence vary. This is important because while a court may find you guilty, the court can also find the plaintiff liable. If the plaintiff is found to have contributed to the situation, they are awarded fewer damages, and the case can even be thrown out. Simple negligence means ordinary care was not used. If the floors of your store are mopped, you are required by law to place a warning sign on the wet floor. If you do not and someone slips, you could be found guilty of simple negligence. To protect your company, make sure you are compliant with all related laws.
Depending on your state, the law may make you liable for the percentage of the damage that your negligence was found to cause. Comparative negligence looks at the contributing negligence of the plaintiff, too. If the plaintiff attends an event, they are assuming ownership of the risks of attending the event. Printing warnings is one way to protect your company.
When you are found guilty of gross negligence, you have been found to be in complete disregard of the safety of others. If someone slips and falls in your retail store because there was no warning the floor had just been mopped, you could be found to be guilty of gross negligence. Although people assume the risk, they can still sue you for not putting up a warning sign.
If you conduct business in a state that allows lawsuits for negligence, it is important to practice extra caution. In order to prevent a negligence lawsuit from being brought against you, you are encouraged to examine how the elements of such a suit affect you and take measures to prevent those circumstances from occurring.
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