At some point, your company will be sued-whether by an employee, a customer, or another company. While almost all lawsuits can be frustrating and overall unpleasant, they are unfortunately also part of doing business. So after being "served," what should you, as the business owner, do? Don't fret. To ensure a you don't make further mistakes, here are some ways to handle a lawsuit.
1. Don't ignore the complaint
It's human nature to shove bad news aside, but remember that the complaint won't go away on its own. If you delay or fail to respond in the time mandated by the law, there's a huge chance that you may lose the case without even having to defend your side. That is why it is very important to never ignore the claim, no matter where it comes from. The moment you receive it-you should act immediately.
2. Contact your lawyer
Call your attorney immediately, or if you don’t have one yet, get one quickly. Lawyers can help offer you legal advice regarding the lawsuit. Normally, they have around a month to respond to all the claims, with no room for delay. Many entrepreneurs hesitate contacting their attorneys because of the high hourly costs. Fortunately, there are legal services providers that offer clients access to competent attorneys for a low monthly fee. You can check the LegalShield for more details.
3. Collect and organize information
Naturally, your attorney will ask you to hand over documents or information for litigation. Gather all documents, including emails, telephone records, or text messages related to the case, in an organized and logical fashion that are easily available to your attorney. Complete a list of telephone numbers of witnesses and make photocopies of records and bills that can help you win the case.
4. Coordinate with your lawyer
Handing over the information to your attorney is not enough. Instead, you should stay on top of the case and work closely with your lawyer throughout the entire process. Aside from creating a statement of your position, complete with details and events, you should share all the information you know to avoid losing the case. However, do not stay too involved that you approach the complaining party. Remember that what you say in front of the other party can be used against you during the trial. Remain silent unless your lawyer tells you otherwise.
Another consideration, which is often the hardest to take, is to try to settle the case. After all, more than 90 percent of lawsuits are settled without a trial. If you think about it, the years of anxiety, costs, and lost productivity isn't worth the hassle. You are better off settling a case as early as possible, rather than litigating for a year or two.
Was your company "served" a lawsuit? What did you do? Do you have other ideas on dealing with this situation? Share your thoughts in the comments section.