Whether it is a dissatisfied customer, someone who claims they got hurt on your property, or a disgruntled employee, any business can be vulnerable to being sued for a multitude of reasons. It is vital to know what to do if your business is being sued to avoid any costly mistakes or legal issues that may arise. Experienced business attorneys can help you understand what you are up against, negotiate on your behalf and develop effective strategies to protect your livelihood and your reputation.
1. Do not Ignore a Demand Letter or Formal Complaint
You may receive a demand letter before being formally sued, which typically comes from a person or business who is requesting that you take corrective action to resolve or fix an issue. Although a demand letter is not a lawsuit, consulting lawyers who are well-versed in small business legal matters can help you decide how to respond and help you reach an agreement and avoid being sued altogether. If you are served with a formal complaint, review it immediately and find out how soon you must respond.
2. Contact an Attorney
It is rarely a good idea to communicate directly with a plaintiff, their attorney, or their insurance company. The sooner you contact an attorney, the more time your lawyer has to gather information, review the facts of your case, interview witnesses, and develop a defense strategy with you. Be candid with your lawyer about everything pertaining to the lawsuit. Being honest with an attorney who you can trust and rely on can ensure that you receive the best legal representation possible. Keeping secrets will only make your case vulnerable to surprises that could affect the outcome of the case.
3. Contact Your Insurance Agent
It is important to take action quickly and notify your insurance company promptly to make sure your insurance coverage is preserved. Depending on the specific situation, there are various types of insurance policies that may cover you in the event of a lawsuit. Third-party injury claims are typically covered by general liability insurance and lawsuits brought by employees may be covered by employment practices liability insurance, which is sometimes included in workers’ compensation policies. If you are a member of a union, trade association or other professional organization, check to see if they have policies available that may cover your business if you are sued. Make sure you, your attorney and insurance agent review and verify all policies carefully.
Unfortunately, your own insurance company may not have your best interests at heart. Even if your insurance company’s counsel is involved in defending your case, having your own lawyer to review contracts and potential settlement agreements can ensure that your rights and interests are protected.
At Carosella & Associates, our experienced team is dedicated to providing top-notch legal representation that will protect your rights and interests. Our skilled business lawyers in West Chester can help you find effective solutions for any legal situation that may arise and work toward the best possible outcome for your case.