Whether you only recently opened your small business or it has been around for decades, being sued is probably the last thing on your mind. Unfortunately, it happens to businesses large and small, for a variety of reasons. It is important for every small business owner to be aware of the risks of being sued, as well as of what steps to take once you receive notification of a claim against you.
The type of lawsuit your small business will face often depends upon the type of business you run. The most common claims include:
- Breach of Contract – Failure to fulfill the terms of a contract that you agreed to
- Slip and Fall Accident or Premises Liability Claim – Somebody was injured or killed on your business’ property
- Auto Accident – If your company vehicle is involved in an accident or an employee caused a vehicle accident while on the job
- Discrimination or Harassment – Can be filed by employees or by customers
- Workers’ Compensation – Filed by an employee injured or made sick on the job\
- Intellectual Property – Trademark or copyright infringement claims
The first thing you need to do the moment you’re aware of a lawsuit being filed against you is to contact a small business attorney. No matter what type of claim is being pursued, contact an experienced business lawyer and ask them for their advice. They will review the information on the suit to see whether it has been properly filed and if it has then they will review the charges against you and put a litigation hold on all information relevant to the claim.
It is important that after you’ve been notified of a suit against your small business you do not engage directly with the plaintiff. Leave all communication and negotiation to your attorney. When discussing the case with your lawyer, make sure that you are entirely forthcoming – if there is anything that can work against your attorney’s success, it is a surprise. The more information you provide, the better they will be able to defend you and your interests.
Though being sued is an extremely stressful experience, having an experienced attorney handle claims against your small business frees you to focus on your operations and continue working to grow and succeed. For information about how our small business attorneys can help, contact our office today and set up a time when we can meet and discuss your case.