If you own a small business such as a retail store, you have a constant stream of traffic through your building. There may be steps or a staircase, narrow corridors, and occasional spills of liquids. Flooring may crack and require replacement, handrails may need to be fixed on occasion. When a retailer or building owner does not act within a reasonable period of time to address such potentially dangerous conditions, people may get hurt as a result. The injured will have the right to file an injury claim with the responsible party in order to recover their damages. Depending on the severity of the injury, a settlement may represent a significant amount of money. Unfortunately, because of the money involved, some nefarious persons will fake accidents with the hope of extorting money from the innocent building owner. They may be very public in their accusations. It can be tempting to pay the claim in order to make the problem go away.

Fighting a Claim of Negligence

In order for an injury claim to be successful, it must be proven by the accuser that the defendant acted negligently. Your attorney will be tasked with determining whether or not your company was, in fact, negligent.

·         When a case is weak, the defendant’s attorney may recommend that they fight the claim and deny payment.

·         When the case against them is strong, the defendant’s attorney may recommend to their client that they should settle the claim and negotiate a dollar amount with the claimant.

In either scenario, the claimant may choose to go public with their accusation. Depending on how far they go with their public actions and statements, it could be a problem for the company. Though some say that any publicity (even negative publicity) is good, that is not necessarily the case. A company that has spent years earning a positive reputation within the community does not want their reputation ruined because of a single negligence claim that may or may not be valid. Hiring an attorney to protect your legal rights is essential, but in a scenario like this, it’s also essential that you hire a PR firm to protect your company’s reputation.

The Role of a PR Firm

In a situation whereby a company is being accused of negligence, should the complaint become public, the amount of negative attention may quickly escalate. This is especially true if the accuser uses several social media platforms to spread their accusation for fear of getting hurt. It may also dissuade your regular customers from returning to your establishment. A good PR firm, like a public relations agency in New York, New York such as Goldman McCormick PR,  will be familiar with various methods for generating positive social media responses on behalf of your company to counteract the negative publicity. When all is said and done, your sales volume might increase as a result of their actions despite the claim filed against you by the alleged accident victim.

To learn more about how a PR firm might assist your company, contact one in your area.