It’s a thing of nightmares for business owners: getting sued. No matter how careful you are, it’s impossible to prevent lawsuits forever. In fact, up to 53 percent of small businesses one or more litigations in a year. Just like anything else, there are right ways and wrong ways to act when facing a lawsuit. This is what to do if your business gets sued.
Hire a Good Attorney
Before doing anything else, contact a well-regarded attorney in your area. If possible, find someone who specializes in your industry, or at least corporate litigation. There are a few reasons why you will want to do this first thing.
Unless you were formerly a lawyer, you probably don’t know the ins and outs of lawsuits. It’s essential that you talk to an expert who can lay out all your potential options. A highly-trained attorney will also instruct you on what you can and can’t say or do. This will protect you from unintentionally exposing yourself to the opposing side’s complaint. Additionally, you should be totally honest when speaking with your attorney. Withholding information from them will only weaken your defense in the long run.
Talk with Your Insurer
Oftentimes, professional liability insurance will cover any expenses that result from a business lawsuit. But you shouldn’t make this assumption. You need to understand exactly how your insurance will factor into the litigation process. Get a professional liability insurance quote now if you haven’t done so already. This can save you a whole lot of money if someone tries to sue your business.
Don’t Speak to the Plaintiff Directly
This is something you will probably hear when you speak with an attorney. However, if they fail to mention it—don’t speak directly with the plaintiff. Anything you say or do to the plaintiff can potentially be used against you in court. No matter how much you might have an urge, just don’t contact them. If you want to say something to the plaintiff, do it through your attorneys.
Save All Your Files and Data
Evidence is the most important element to determining the outcome of any lawsuit. If you’re in the right, you want all possible evidence on your side. This means that you need to diligently save and store your files and data. It’s smart to have a data backup that can only accessed by you. In the event of malicious tampering, you will still have all key files. This should also include any other logs or critical information. These things seem insignificant in your day-to-day dealings. However, in the event of a lawsuit, one small thing might prove your innocence.
Determine Your Best Course of Action
Once you have done all the previous steps, it’s time to consider your best course of action. In an ideal world, you will be able to avoid litigation altogether. Lawsuits are expensive and time consuming. Nobody wants to deal with them unless they’re getting paid to do it. And even then, it can be hit or miss at times. Before going to court, try to settle, or find some other resolution to litigation. This can ultimately be beneficial to all parties. If the plaintiff still wants to sue, prepare to go the distance.
Few things are worse news for a business than having to acknowledge a lawsuit. Even though they are bad for you on pretty much every level, don’t lose your cool. You need to have your head in the game if you want to emerge victorious from litigation. Follow these guidelines to put yourself in the best possible positon for success.