Proper Small Business Insurance Can Protect Chicago Companies From Liability Lawsuits

A recent case involving technology giant Apple shows that having the proper type of insurance can protect against even something as basic as a slip-and-fall claim.

Apple Insider reports that an insurance company recently lodged a complaint against the company disputing a claim by Apple, a Chicago construction company and the Chicago Transit Authority for an incident that happened while an Apple Store was being built here in 2010.

While Chicago Business Attorneys may focus on properly written contracts, protecting intellectual property and dispute resolution -- and all those are critically important as well -- making sure that your home base is protected is crucial too. Employee issues, whether providing protection from injury or ensuring the company is protected from discrimination suits, can just as easily damage a company as any other issue.

Chicago premise liability issues or those involving the products that are packaged and shipped for distribution are issue that must be taken into consideration by a successful business. Any workplace can be opened up to lawsuits and claims if they don't have the right kind of insurance to protect from injuries. This is even more important in business that involves machinery, manufacturing or construction.

According to the news article, Apple is in a pinch because in 2010, the technology giant entered into an agreement with the transit authority and a construction company to renovate a subway station near the store. The deal was to allow Apple to buy out the advertising space and rename the station.

Scaffolding and shoring was set up and Apple and the construction company were set up as "additional insureds" and were supposed to be covered by the insurance company's limited liability coverage. But while under construction, a woman fell and fractured her hip on a sidewalk. The scaffolding company's insurance was added 19 days after the injury, meaning Apple and the construction company were hung out to dry. The companies have now sued each other.

This type of situation can happen in any office setting or work site. Employees can become injured on floors, by chemicals or through hot objects. Companies must ensure they protect themselves to comply with state and federal standards.

Starting in March, the Americans with Disabilities Act will include additional changes that public places must comply with to avoid risking fines or penalties. Among the changes, 1 in 6 parking spaces, a change from 1 in 8 spots, must be van accessible. Mobility devices, other than wheelchairs, must be accommodated.

Shelving and other objects must be no more than 48 inches high. There are other changes in place that went into effect in March 2011, but won't be enforced until this year. This is just another thing that companies must adhere to in order to stay above-board in all respects.

Businesses have a lot on their plate and many things to remember. Dealing with employee issues to ensure premise liability problems don't derail the company is a big one. Complying with state and federal laws regarding the public is another. These issues shouldn't be prioritized over business-related matters, but they also shouldn't be overlooked, either. A Chicago business attorney can help companies ensure compliance and protect them from legal issues at the same time.

Jeremy A. Gibson & Associates is a law firm dedicated to business litigation in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois. Call 877-452-4529 for a free consultation.

Additional Resources:

Insurance company sues to deny Apple coverage in slip-and-fall claim, by Mikey Campbell, Apple Inisder