Being an entrepreneur comes with many business risks, but there’s also the risk of being injured. When you run your own business or work for yourself, you’re just as likely to become injured as anyone else. However, when you work for yourself, you can’t just take time off to heal without serious financial consequences. That’s why most injured entrepreneurs file a lawsuit.
If you’re pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, here are some tips to help you get the compensation you deserve.
1. Hire a personal injury attorney
After an injury, it’s critical to get a lawyer, especially in expensive areas like New York. When your living expenses are high, taking time off work can hurt you more than a standard employee.
A lawyer is your best chance at recovering compensation for your injuries. When you need compensation to pay for your medical bills, household bills, and keep your business running, a lawyer will help you recover the most compensation possible for your case.
Navigating the legal system without an attorney is a bad idea. Not only will you struggle to negotiate a fair settlement, but you’ll become overwhelmed and confused by the entire legal process. Self-representation is your legal right, but you’re still obligated to follow all the laws and procedures set forth by the court, which isn’t easy without experience.
2. Document your true income losses
Unlike hourly employees, you can’t just give the court an hourly figure for your lost income. Your lost income will be based on some very different factors. For example, you might need to hire people to run your business while you heal, and if you had to close your business temporarily, you’ll be losing money daily. Both of these expenses will be used to determine the compensation you’ll get for lost wages if you qualify.
Make sure to document your actual income losses. Calculate your average daily revenue and multiply that number by the number of days you had to close shop. If closing your shop had any further impact on your business income, document that as well.
3. Know who to name in your lawsuit
It’s also important to name the right person or business in your lawsuit. For example, if you were injured by slipping and falling in another business establishment as a result of something a customer did, you’d probably want to name the business in your lawsuit and not the customer. However, only an attorney can tell you who the right person is to name in your situation.
Before filing any lawsuit paperwork, consult with a personal injury attorney first to find out who you should name in your lawsuit. They’ll file everything for you so you don’t have to worry about anything.
4. Get your own liability insurance
If you’re filing a lawsuit against someone, chances are, you’re hoping you never end up on the other end of a lawsuit. While you can’t predict the future, you can prepare yourself for the potential by getting liability insurance for your business.
It’s possible that a client or customer might sue you later down the road for something that wasn’t directly your fault, but within the realm of your legal responsibilities. Any customer, employee, contractor, repair person, or anyone you encounter can hold you liable for failing to take proper care if they’re injured. This applies even to your home.
If you’re already running an official business, you probably already have the type of liability insurance required by law. However, if you’re an entrepreneur freelancing, you might not have a storefront, an office, or any legal need to carry insurance.
Maybe you see clients in your home or you don’t see clients in person at all. Either way, if you don’t have liability insurance, it’s worth getting. If a delivery person is injured on your property, that could be all it takes for you to be sued. Losing one personal injury lawsuit could be financially devastating.
Getting liability insurance won’t help you with your current lawsuit, but it will keep you protected in case the tables are turned and someone else – like a client – ends up injured while visiting your home.
Balance healing with work
While you pursue your lawsuit, be sure to balance healing with any work you need to perform. If you can’t take time off completely, don’t overdo it. Hire someone to help out if you can, and if you can’t, put your well-being first because if you don’t recover properly, it could negatively impact your business.