Unfortunately, many businesses can count on being sued at one time or another. Whether you’re a small business or a lone entrepreneur, at least one lawsuit in the life of your company is almost inevitable. Being prepared is always ideal, so read on to learn how you should handle this situation if it ever happens to your company.
As soon as you receive paperwork that your business is being sued, head to a business lawyer’s office to review the paperwork. Your lawyer will help you with the case from the minute you walk into their office. They’ll tell you the correct way to handle correspondence with the plaintiff, which is often having no contact at all. They’ll also tell you to preserve all records relating to the case. If you have a policy for destroying documents, stop the service until the case is resolved.
Keep Track of Everything
Information can give you the upper hand in squelching potential lawsuits. An inventory tracking system can help you monitor all transactions and keep your inventory and accounting systems in sync so that you can prove you have been acting in good faith to deliver on all of your promises. If anything goes wrong in the production or fulfillment processes, you can solve them quickly with these tools and hopefully avoid legal problems. If not, then at least it can prove your authenticity in the case of a suit involving your business operations.
Never Say You’re at Fault
This is true of car accidents as well as circumstances in which someone might sue you or your company. While as a human being, you might be inclined to take responsibility for your actions and do the right thing, it could mean the death of your business when you’re sued for a million dollars. It’s best to let the lawyers do their job and remain quiet, both in your spoken words and on social media.
Let the PR Department Handle the Press
If you don’t have a public relations team at your disposal, you can hire one to look out for your interests. You could also look into PR colleges online, like Kent State University. They can help when the media is pounding on your door. They are adept at handling the public image of many people that have been in the news over disputes and lawsuits. When your company is being sued, there’s often news coverage or media accounts of the process, which might not always cast your company in a favorable light. A PR firm will combat that with news reports and images that are good for the company.
Business as Usual
Above all else, make sure that you’re not letting a lawsuit put a halt to your company’s daily activities. Continue on as if it’s business as usual. It shouldn’t distract you from the fact that you have a business to run with employees who need to be paid and clients who need your attention. In some cases, you might have to settle with the plaintiff, even if you believe your company hasn’t done anything wrong. If a settlement might cost you $50,000, but a trial costs $100,000 in lawyer’s fees and costs to the company to win, a settlement might be a better solution.
While being sued can be devastating, it doesn’t have to be the end of your company or its public image. With the right steps, your company can definitely recover from a lawsuit.