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How to Prepare Your Business for a Civil Lawsuit

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By Erin

Business Basics

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Getting sued is a nightmare situation that can affect any business. It’s a frustrating and upsetting situation that can cost you serious cash. Even if you’re the company starting the lawsuit, the expenses can be extensive if you’re trying to figure out what to do. Follow these steps to streamline this process.

1. Know Your Chances of Going to Trial

Lawsuits are often an attempt by one company to get a settlement from another. That’s because the chances of a trial are meager. The percentage of federal civil cases that go to trial is just 1%, down from 11.5% of trial cases in 1962.

As a result, it’s important to gauge whether it’s better to settle right away or go to the trial stage. Usually, you want to go to trial if you have a better chance of winning. That can help you earn money if you’re the one suing or protect your good name if you’re getting sued.

2. Speak With Your Attorney

There’s no way around it. You’ll need a lawyer for your lawsuit. No matter how simple it might seem, a legal team can help improve your chances of winning. They’ll not only help you prepare your paperwork and other important steps but can advise you on things you might need to learn.

For example, they can explain things like notification windows and statute limitations. Typically, employees have just 20 days from an accident to let their employer know they were hurt. Facts like these can change your case and make it easier to win.

3. Talk to Your Insurance Providers

After working with your attorney, you must talk with your insurance provider about your lawsuit. Not many companies understand this step and struggle as a result. For example, you should talk about your liability and umbrella insurance and the ways that they can protect you.

Knowing exactly what they will and won’t cover is important for your lawsuit. Some insurance policies may cover nearly all lawsuits, while others are more limited. Talking with your agent can help you better understand what kind of protection you need.

4. Control Your Reputation

A lawsuit against your business is often a PR nightmare that will require much work. That’s because people take news like this seriously, even if the case isn’t fair to you. You can take steps to improve your reputation and ensure that things go smoothly.

For instance, reputation management companies can provide positive reviews and press releases for your company. That kind of service is important. Ninety-five percent of customers check online reviews before buying.

5. Respond to the Claim

Do you have to reply to the claim with a written response within a specific deadline? This important legal step includes admitting or denying the claim, your defense and counterclaims, and whether you want a jury trial. You can also state whether you prefer a settlement instead.

Talk with your lawyer about your response because getting it right is critical for your lawsuit. Not properly replying can cost you a lot of time and money by forcing a trial you may not want. Thankfully, you can always work for a settlement later, but it may differ from your liking as much as if you’d settled earlier.

These simple tips can help your business prepare for the worst in a lawsuit and make things go smoothly. While these steps don’t guarantee a win, they make a case easier to handle. Talk with your lawyer if you need help with any of these steps to ensure that things go as effectively for you as possible.