Tips to Minimize Legal Woes: Guest Accidents

Often the first few minutes after an accident occurs are the most crucial.  The following steps should be utilized by control people in that critical time period:

· “DO call 911.

· “DO attend to the injured party.

· “DO be sensitive and sincere.

· “DO NOT apologize for the accident.

· “DO NOT admit that you or your employees were at fault.  Do not take responsibility for the accident.

· “DO NOT offer to pay for the medical expenses of the injured party.

· “DO NOT mention insurance coverage.

· “DO NOT discuss the cause of the accident.

· “DO NOT correct employees at the scene.

· “DO a complete and thorough investigation.

· “DO complete a claim report and submit it to your insurance company immediately.

· “DO NOT discuss the accident or the investigation except with those who absolutely need to know.

· “DO NOT throw away records, statement or other evidence until the case is finished.”

Quotes by attorney Stephen Barth in Hotel and Motel Management, April 21, 2008 issue, p. 8.