Protecting Your Liability

When an incident occurs, smart restaurant / bar owners don’t wait until a claim is filed to protect themselves.

They’re thinking, right after the incident occurs, about how to protect their liability.

If months or years pass between the actual incident and the time that a formal claim is made, the insurance company may not be able to obtain key evidence.

You and your employees responding the right way immediately after an incident can make a big difference in the claim result.

 

4 Tips for Responding to an Incident

Here are 4 helpful tips for responding to an incident…

Don’t Admit to Wrongdoing 

Treat all injured or upset patrons with courtesy and respect, but never admit to wrongdoing, take responsibility, or reveal other information.

Don’t Settle a Situation with Cash Payment 

Do not attempt to settle an injury or grievance with a direct cash payment. This often suggests guilt and might encourage litigation. It is also, very likely, in direct violation of the insurance policy for your to ‘settle the claim’ without the insurance companies consent.

Report Promptly

If a serious injury occurs in the evening, over the weekend, or on a holiday, and you are unable to reach your insurance agent, your carrier probably has a 24-hour phone or email to which you can report the incident. Make sure you have your policy number on-hand.

Gather Evidence

Gather and preserve all relevant physical evidence, witness statements, video recordings, and photographs.Below are helpful questions for being thorough in this.

 

Questions for Gathering Info / Evidence
  • Date / Time of the incident?
  • Specific location of incident? (Deck / Patio, Dance Floor, Elevated Platform or Stage, Hallway, Landing (Inside or Outside), Parking Lot, Ramp (Inside or Outside), Rest-room, etc)
  • Were any authorities notified?
  • Was the incident captured on video?
  • Info about the injured party(ies)? (Name, Phone #, Address, DOB)
  • What type of injury(ies)? (Abrasion / Scratch, Laceration / Cut, Contusion / Bruise, Fracture / Break, Sprain / Strain)
  • Part(s) of body injured? (Arm, Back, Chest, Eye, Face / Nose, Foot / Toes / Ankle, Hand / Fingers / Wrist, Head / Skull, etc)
  • Info about the witnesses? (Name, address, and phone #)
  • Were there other responsible parties (Independent Security Guard Company, Property Owner, etc.)?
  • Did another person or entity cause or contribute to the incident? What is their contact info?

 

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