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General Liability Lawsuit against Illinois Landscaping Company a Cautionary Tale

General Liability Lawsuit against Illinois Landscaping Company a Cautionary Tale

Monday, June 27, 2016/Categories: Lawn Care Business, Landscaping Business

If you've ever run over a bunch of fabric with a lawnmower (or rope, wire, or anything else you shouldn't mow over) you know how quickly a seemingly simple job can turn into a frustrating afternoon. It's a nightmare to get the fabric untangled from the blade, and while you're working on the lawnmower, you're baking in the summer sun and inhaling more gas fumes than you'd like.

But you know what's worse than that? Running over somebody's foot.

Okay, don't faint — we won't describe all the gory details. But according to the Cook County Record, a woman filed a lawsuit in 2014 against Fleck's Landscaping for running over her daughter's foot with a lawnmower. Allegedly, the daughter was riding her bike when a Fleck's Landscaping employee on a riding-motorized lawnmower struck her. After the girl was knocked off her bike, her foot was run over, the suit states.

Now her mother is seeking damages for medical expenses, which can easily crawl into the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to fix a broken bone alone. (The daughter might need reconstructive work on her foot, too.) She might also seek to recuperate legal costs, and the landscaping business still has to defend itself in court. In short, the business will spend a lot of time and a lot of money over the ordeal.

If you run a modest landscaping company, this is the kind of thing that can shut your business down. Even a single accident could result in unmanageable costs that you're liable for paying. Do you keep an extra ten, twenty, or thirty thousand dollars around in case of an accident?

Most business owners don't, which is why General Liability Insurance can be incredibly handy in these unexpected circumstances.

How General Liability Insurance Helps Landscaping Businesses

If you're new to the world of business insurance, learning about General Liability Insurance is a good place to start. Many business owners consider this policy the very foundation of their risk management plans because it covers an array of basic liabilities.

For starters, a General Liability policy can offer coverage for:

  • Third-party bodily injury claims (e.g., if a visitor or client gets hurt on your premises or by your business's actions).
  • Third-party property damage (e.g., if you or your employees damage someone's stuff).
  • Personal and advertising injury claims (e.g., if someone sues you over slander).

General Liability can help pay for court costs, attorney fees, and more, which gives you the financial means to keep your doors open while you deal with a lawsuit. The coverage addresses frivolous lawsuits as well, so even if you have to respond to a meritless claim, your legal defense costs won't have to come out of your pocket.

Why is that a big deal? According to a report by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, a frivolous lawsuit usually costs between $2,000 and $5,000 in legal fees before it's dropped and resolved.

So take the case above as a warning that accidents can and will happen despite your best intentions. General Liability Insurance can help your business survive when unexpected disasters strike.

To learn more about your coverage options, check out other insurance policies for landscaping businesses.

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