When your small business gets targeted with a lawsuit, it can be one of the worst things that can happen. Whether the charges are proven or not, you stand to incur huge losses in terms of time, stress, and attorney fees. These costs can potentially wipe out a small business. If your company is in a similar situation, it is critical that you don’t ignore the charges and contact an experienced attorney; even a criminal lawyer can provide some advice. Discuss the problem and ask for guidance on how to handle the lawsuit.
Check for the Validity of the Lawsuit and Claim
Once you receive the papers, the first step is to check the details to ascertain if you are the correct person or entity mentioned. The chances are that you can get the charges dismissed if the plaintiff is not associated with your company or there are errors in the lawsuit. If the claims are false and you file a motion for dismissal, some courts require that you get physical or digital notarization on the documents before submitting them to the court. Most law firms have an authorized notary on board to verify your identity before affixing the official seal. Some states have a fillable form where you can put down the details of the complaint and reasons why it should be dismissed.
Gather the Details of the Lawsuit
You will want to gather and record added information, such as documents pertaining to the incident, and electronic materials, including video clips, audio tapes, images, emails, and voicemails. Your attorney will also assist you by taking pictures and making videos of the site, ensuring that the time and date stamps are clearly visible. However, this evidence should be collected with care following all the mandatory state regulations. You should also make a list of the possible witnesses who know the facts of the case.
Never Attempt To Communicate with the Plaintiff
Your business can get sued by an employee, customer, or any other person who has been injured on your premises. You may have 14 to 30 days to respond to the lawsuit, though this deadline may vary according to the state where you operate. Whatever you do, never try to contact the plaintiff directly. Any communication can be recorded and used as evidence against you and the business. Once the lawsuit has been filed in court, you should let the attorney follow the proper procedures to resolve the situation.
Inform Your Insurance Provider
Depending on your specific insurance policy , you could be covered against the costs of a lawsuit. Inform the insurance provider right away so that they can assist you with the defense. The company is also liable to cover any court costs, attorney fees, and settlement or damages if your business is found guilty.
Lawsuits are expensive, time-consuming, and involve a lot of unnecessary hassles. The correct handling of the lawsuit can eliminate an unfair situation without any significant financial setbacks.
Hiring a Professional
You must not rely on the information you find in this article as a substitute for legal advice from your attorney, accountant, or other professional services provider.
If you have any specific questions about any legal, financial, business or lifestyle matter you should consult your own professional services provider.
You should never delay seeking legal or financial advice, disregard legal or financial advice, or start, delay or stop any action because of information you read in this article.
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