What To Do If Your Business Gets Sued: Prompt Responses and Ways to Pay Litigation Fees
Dan Levenson September 08, 2015
Have you ever thought about what to do if your business gets sued?
You may think your business has safeguards from such things, but it can happen to any company at any time for sometimes surprising reasons. Whether it’s someone suing over getting hurt on your property or perhaps accusing you of supposed product defects, anything can come out of the blue to deal you the stress of a lawsuit.
Rather than go into a panic when you receive a lawsuit notice in the mail, you need to calm down and handle everything with intelligence. Just because you’re being sued doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily lose money. The biggest hurdle is the money you’ll have to spend on paying for lawyers, which is potentially as much or more expensive than any settlement.
Fortunately, you have a way to combat litigation fees if you play your cards right. Things can also progress faster if you don’t waste time responding to any lawsuit. In the world of law, any time wasted can mean costing you more money and possibly losing your case.
(Remember, the InsureYourCompany.com staff are not lawyers, therefore you should always consult your attorney in the event that you or your business are sued.)
The First Step to Take
It’s a possibility you’ll receive a demand letter first before a lawsuit even arrives. This doesn’t always happen, though if someone demands you change something with a threat to sue, it’s time you took the letter to your business lawyer. If you don’t already have a lawyer looking out for your interests, then you need one now.
Sometimes you can find ways to resolve the issue or through a fair settlement before someone sues. Unfortunately, with the litigious society we live in, a lawsuit may still happen with a push to get more money out of you. When this happens, you have to communicate with your lawyer to respond quickly.
A hearing frequently requires a response within less than a few days to a week. With that in mind, you need to allow a little time for your lawyer to gather evidence to prove your case. Despite most states having a statute of limitations of up to two or more years in filing lawsuits, responding to a lawsuit doesn’t allow the same luxury.
A good lawyer can still find compelling evidence if given at least a week to gather it all. They’ll gather witnesses and documentation that proves your side. In order to make this effective, you need complete candor with your lawyer. Don’t be afraid to tell them everything so they can create a better case for you.
Checking Your Business Insurance to Help Pay Fees
When you get business insurance, it pays to read your policy carefully to see if they pay for litigation when you get sued. Many policies do, which is important to keep you from having to go nearly bankrupt paying off your lawyers. It’s even worse when losing a lawsuit where you have to pay a settlement and lawyers at the same time.
Keep in mind you need to respond quickly to your insurance after a lawsuit before they ever agree to help you. Your lawyer can do the contacting.
Avoiding Any Discussions About Your Lawsuit
When you have a lawsuit on your hands, emotions can easily take over, leaving you to start discussing it with friends or on social media. You need to avoid this completely because any information you blab in public places could end up being used against you in a court case.
Social media is an especially bad place because it places your comments out on search engines for the competing legal team to acquire and use in a trial. Because language is malleable in law, something you say could be twisted to make you look guilty when you’re not.
Being sued is never a pleasant situation, but it’s a possibility for which you, as a business owner, must prepare your company. With the guidance of a trustworthy attorney and a complete understanding of your insurance policies, however, it doesn’t have to spell disaster for your business.