Some call it the cost of doing business. Nonetheless, the first time your company is served with a lawsuit, you may feel overwhelmed. Unfortunately, every business can be sued. What should you do if it happens to your company?
Truth be told, claims against your business may surface for a number of reasons. Most business litigation cases involve the following:
- Contract disputes
- Intellectual property infringement claims
- Premises liability actions
- Products liability claims
In some cases, the lawsuit may appear frivolous or unfair. Of course, that doesn’t mean it can be ignored. Indignation won’t save you from liens. The fact that litigants are willing to take chances in court does not necessarily represent success.
More than a decade ago, the Small Business Association reported on litigation as a business expense. One obvious consideration is the money expended for legal fees. However, your company could face paying out exorbitant damage awards. Depending on the type of lawsuit, you might also be concerned about what the claim does to your company’s reputation. Employment disputes
In some cases, your business may have insurance in place for particular types of lawsuits. For example, if someone slips and falls on your company’s property, your liability carrier may pick up your legal defense. Of course, that’s not to say that your rates won’t go up in subsequent years. Unfortunately, the insurance company may also decide to drop your coverage.
When Your Company Is Sued
Your first notice that your company is about to be sued may come before you are served with legal papers. Generally speaking, it’s not unusual for the attorney representing the plaintiff to call or send notice of the prospective claim.
This should be the impetus of securing your legal defense. Settlement is often less expensive than taking a case to court. It could be that matter may end as a result of business mediation.
Once again, if you have insurance that might protect you, pass on the notice to your agent or deal with the carrier directly. Otherwise, look for advice from a law firm with experience in handling business litigation matters.
Plaintiff’s counsel may decide to circumvent the notice process and file papers with the court. Once your company is served with the summons and complaint, you only have a specified number of days to file an answer with the court.
When you consult with your attorney, you will not only evaluate the merits of the case. It could be that your company has a cause of action yourself. Part of your legal defense strategy may involve filing a countersuit.
All things considered, litigation expenses are often part of the price of doing business. Therefore, it is critical to have experienced legal counsel to advocate on your behalf. Contact Fellerman & Ciarimboli to see how we can assist you.