Negligence in Business is a Tough Claim to File
Feb 23, 2011
Atlanta, GA (Law Firm Newswire) February 23, 2011 – The potential of employee negligence keeps company executives up at night. Negligence in business is disastrous.
“If someone is facing a negligence claim in their business, it is a major issue and one that usually needs the assistance an Atlanta personal injury lawyer specializing in business law. Why is that? Because you are the employer and you are liable for negligence on the part of your workers. You’re taking an enormous risk and if someone messes up, their negligence may cause your business serious issues,” said Robert Webb, an Atlanta personal injury lawyer with Webb & D’Orazio, a law firm practicing personal injury, malpractice, criminal defense, and business law.
Cases where professional negligence is present usually involve a situation where someone has implied or held themselves out to have above average skills and abilities at doing what they are doing – be that accounting, engineering or in the medical field. They hold themselves out to be able to do a certain job because of their professed abilities and skills. By doing that, this sets up a duty of care owed to their clients. If they breach that duty, there is damage to the client.
“If a client has entered into a contract with the ‘professional’, they can sue on that contract for any breaches of express terms. If there does not happen to be an express term, then they may sue on an implied term that the service discussed and possibly paid for will be carried out with due care and attention and reasonable skill and care,” Webb said.
The standard of care under the terms of a contract is the same standard of care used in negligence. However, that will be a bit different depending on when liability arises. For instance, contracts entered into voluntarily between two parties in verbal agreement versus the duty of care imposed by law.
“You should note that the standard of care can never be lowered, but it may, on the other hand, be raised. This is true when the defendant has either expressly or impliedly demonstrated abilities or skills that are above the ‘ordinary and reasonable man.’ That doesn’t mean that some professionals can’t be negligent even if they do have more experience that the average man. After all, they are human and bad things happen,” Webb said.
The difficulty with making a mistake when another’s business is at stake is that the ramifications can be horrendous. If professionals hold themselves out to provide a service where people rely on their expertise, they need to have the right kind of insurance to cover them in the event of a negligent mistake.
“If the person you are suing or contemplating suing is working for a company that has liability insurance, you may find they try to exclude or limit their liability in a contract with you. At this point, you really need to speak to a competent business lawyer to make heads or tails of what is going on. You need to know about the validity of certain clauses in your agreement, if there is one and you will want to know what your rights are and how to proceed with a claim,” said Webb.
Webb & D’Orazio are Atlanta personal injury lawyers practicing personal injury law, business law, and criminal defense in Atlanta Georgia.
Webb & D’Orazio
2551 Roswell Road
Marietta, GA 30062
Call: (800) 275-9144