Insureon Blog

Yes, It’s Your Fault: The Scary Truth of Legal Liability

9. August 2013 16:39

Gawker reported this week on a Washington state Supreme Court decision that could send the chills down the spines of business owners. Apparently, the court ruled that a person injured in a car crash with a utility pole has the right to sue Skagit County and the local utility company Puget Sound Energy for placing that pole too close to the road.

Sounds fairly reasonable, right? Well consider this: the reason for the suit was that a drunk driver with a BAC of .14 (the legal limit is .08) hit the pole and injured her passenger. And the court ruled that the passenger can still sue the county and the utility company – which means they might be held liable for some of the damages.

Your Liability Is Greater than You Think

If you're like most small-business owners, you may never have thought about what your legal liabilities are. You probably started your business to pursue a passion, serve an unmet need in your community, or make money on something you were already doing in your spare time.

But as a business owner, you could be held liable (that is, legally responsible) for a number of incidents, including…

And just so there's no confusion, “liability” most often translates to paying money. So if you're found liable for injury or damages, there's a good chance you'll face a fine or penalty to compensate the injured party.

How to Cut the Costs of Liability

The good news? The whole point of business insurance is to cover the costs associated with legal liability. So when you have adequate insurance in place (say, a Liquor Liability policy or General Liability coverage), you don't have to worry about paying your liability costs out of pocket. Instead, your insurance premiums cover those costs so you can keep funneling your money into growing your business. Whew.

know your business risks


Restaurants | Risk Management | Small Business Risk Management | Tips for All Small Businesses

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