General Liability Business Disputes
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What Does General Liability Refer to in a Business Setting?
In a business setting, “general liability” refers to the organization’s liability for damages caused to visitors who are injured while visiting the business’ property. This can include any visitors such as customers, associates, suppliers, or other parties. This liability is usually covered by commercial insurance policies known as “Commercial General Liability (CGL)" policies.
The way this works is that the business will usually purchase a commercial general liability package through an insurance company, and will pay monthly premiums for the coverage. The insurance company will then cover the business in the event that they are being sued by a visitor or customer who sustained injuries while on business premises.
What Are Some General Liability Disputes in a Business?
Generally speaking, every business will have some sort of general liability insurance coverage, to protect them from losses associated with premises liability injuries. However, even with general liability insurance, legal disputes can often arise between the business and a visitor who sustains injuries while visiting business property.
Some common legal issues that may arise in connection with general liability principles can include:
- Slip and Fall injuries: This is probably the most common claim that’s raised against businesses, especially by patrons who are visiting the business (such as customers in a retail store).
- Injuries resulting from a Dangerous Structure: Structures can sometimes present dangers to visitors. These may include dangerous display shelves, tables, overhanging ledges, and other types of structures, whether temporary or permanent.
- Stairways: Poorly maintained stairways and walkways can present hazards for guests, customers, and visitors. The business owner must make sure that stairs are properly maintained, and any unusual conditions should be accompanied by a warning sign. This is a common issue with many hotels.
- Structures in Disrepair: Even safe structures or displays can become hazardous if the business owner allows them to fall into a state of disrepair. The business owner should address any dangerous structures or displays before a visitor gets injured by the structure.
There may be many other types of disputes that are related to general liability coverage with a business. Also, it can happen that a dispute may arise between the business and the insurance company from whom they are purchasing the general liability coverage. For example, the insurance company may decide that they don’t want to cover the business for losses, especially if they feel that the business was directly liable for the injuries caused. Or, the business may have a dispute with the contract covering the insurance policy.
In these types of cases, it’s generally necessary to hire a business lawyer who can help with the dispute at hand.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help With General Liability Disputes in a Business Setting?
Various types of legal disputes can be avoided through the proper implementation of a general liability policy. However, legal issues frequently arise in connection with general liability policies. Thus, it’s to the benefit of your company to work closely with the lawyer in the event of a dispute or conflict. You may also wish to hire a lawyer early on to review any policies, which can help avoid disputes in the first place.
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Last Modified: 06-27-2014 08:59 AM PDT
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