5 Things to Do If Your Business is Being Sued
Being sued is a frightening situation for a business owner to deal with. It not only adds to the current workload, but threatens the livelihood and reputation of the company. The following are the basic, necessary steps you should take when you find out your company is being sued so that you can minimize the damage done.
Contact Your Attorney
The first person who needs to know about your impending suit is the most prepared person to deal with it -- your attorney. Your lawyer should be informed of the situation immediately, and given all information available. Gather any documents, files or records that may be needed for your case to give your attorney ample time to review them.
Notify Your Insurance Agent
Your insurance agent needs to know what is going on quickly, as well. If you have general liability insurance or if you have a lesser policy, this may be the best time to employ this policy. At the very least, this is a good time to review your policy and decide if it can be of help in this specific situation. Having your agent work with your attorney may be a good idea because of the next step.
Consider Settlement or Mediation
In some cases, you can't win in court. Even if you eventually win, you may not be able to receive compensation from the other party that would pay for your court and attorney fees. In cases where your company may legitimately be at fault, often the damage to your reputation with the public at large and your financial damage will be minimized if you can simply settle or come to a solution via mediation with the other party. Your attorney should have ideas regarding this, and impartial mediators may be available.
Think About Countersuit
In some cases, litigation is the first thing a party tries because they believe they will receive a handsome windfall without having to do much work for it. In cases where your company is not legitimately at fault, it is often in your best interests to counter sue on grounds such as defamation or slander. In cases where they is a gray area of potential fault, this can at least assuage the potential public backlash if your company does have fault. If a countersuit goes well, this kind of arrangement can potentially end with financial compensation for your attorney fees and other court costs.
Prepare to Go to Trial
Sometimes the best you can do is fight it out. Whether you decide to counter sue or not, you may very well be going to court. This involves a great deal of documentation and a rigorous process for which you would be well advised to prepare. Your attorney can help you with the specifics of this.
Getting sued is a stressful and trying experience . But your company depends on you to keep a cool head and handle problems.
The following article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.