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Protect Your Small Business from Legal Curveballs

August 31, 2012

No matter how careful you are with your business there are some problems that you could never predict.

Through and through you have thought of all the possible risks that could hurt your small business and have done everything in your power to manage those risks. No matter how conscientious and prudent you are, however, there are some problems that you could never predict. Take the following two court cases for example.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an animal welfare group, has sued SeaWorld in San Diego for allegedly “enslaving” its five killer whales. The animals have been named as plaintiffs in a suit that is due to be heard by a federal court judge. The case will hear whether animals have the same rights and freedoms as humans do under the Constitution, and, if so, will decide whether the orcas’ rights have been violated by being kept in a pool.

Meanwhile, a dead person has been sued in Illinois for injuries caused to a bystander, after a train killed the person and threw their body up in the air, landing on the bystander.

An appeals court judge in Illinois ruled that the deceased person could have foreseen that being hit by the train could have resulted in harm to other people and therefore owed a duty of care to the passerby and could be held liable for the injuries she sustained.

As bizarre and gruesome as these two lawsuits are, they graphically illustrate how your business could be hit by unpredictable, I’d argue crazy, lawsuits. A unforeseen bump in the road like an unexpected lawsuit could derail a small business. That’s why it’s important to ensure your business has the right coverage like professional liability insurance in place.

Insurance really is a must-have if your business provides professional advice to clients – whether you’re a business consultant, IT professional or marketing consultant – because you’re particularly vulnerable to lawsuits from unhappy or crooked clients who want to make an easy buck out of you.

Even if you’ve done nothing wrong, you could still face attorney’s fees running into thousands of dollars from simply defending yourself against a specious claim. With the right small business insurance in place you can have the peace of mind that a legal curveball won’t strike out your business.

  • Small businesses really are taking it hard these days. There are so many things they have to be careful it is getting very hard.