What Steps Should I Take If I Receive a Lawsuit Naming Me or My Business?
Business owners prepare for the chance that they or their company may be named in a lawsuit by purchasing a variety of insurance policies. They may also have a Coral Springs business law attorney on retainer who knows the business and can act quickly if the company is sued. While it is best to be prepared for a lawsuit, preparation does not prevent a customer, client, competitor, vendor, or another party from filing a lawsuit against your business.
The steps you take immediately after receiving notice of a lawsuit are just as important as preparing for the risk of being sued. Below are five steps to take if your business is sued.
Five Steps Every Business Owner Should Take After Being Sued
- Contact a Florida Business Law Attorney Immediately
Contact your attorney immediately upon receiving notice that a lawsuit has been filed. You may have a very short time to respond to the lawsuit. Failing to respond to the lawsuit before the deadline may result in a forfeit of your right to defend your company against the allegations contained in the complaint.
If you do not have an attorney, we invite you to contact our office to discuss your situation with an experienced Florida business law attorney. Your attorney may give you additional steps to take to protect your interests and your business interests. Your attorney will also provide legal advice, guidance, and support as you proceed through the legal process.
- Do Not Contact the Parties Involved in the Lawsuit
It may be tempting to contact the people who sued your company or the parties who might be involved in the legal matter. You may believe that you can resolve the situation if you could talk to the parties yourself. However, any contact with the parties involved in the lawsuit or their lawyers could be risky and could result in additional liability for you and your company. Instead, talk to your lawyer and work with your lawyer to resolve the claim. Your attorney helps you prepare for litigation and explain the civil litigation process.
- Contact Your Insurance Company
For each insurance policy that might provide coverage regarding the claim, contact the insurance company that issued the policy. Inform the insurance company that your company has been named in a lawsuit and that you have retained counsel for your company. Make careful notes of the information provided by the insurance company so that you can give that information to your lawyer.
- Gather and Preserve Evidence and Information
Begin gathering information and documentation about the claims stated in the lawsuit. Be sure to provide complete records to your attorney as soon as possible. Do not destroy evidence or erase information on computers. Your attorney needs to analyze all documentation and information regarding the claim that you have in your possession. Destroying potential evidence could create additional legal problems.
- Do Not Create Additional Evidence
Do not discuss the parties involved in the lawsuit or the matters in the lawsuit by text, email, memos, or other written communication with anyone other than your lawyer. During the discovery phase of the lawsuit, the other party has the right to review evidence pertaining to the action. You do not want to create additional evidence by discussing the matter, even internally with other employees in your company.
Why Is My Company Being Sued?
Businesses are sued for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common reasons that a company is sued include:
- Employment disputes
- Your business allegedly owes someone money
- Contract disputes and breach of contract
- Slip and fall (premises liability) claims
- Violations regarding intellectual property and trade secrets
- Issues with vendors and sub-contractors
- Product liability claims (defective products)
- Actions by employees
The above list is just a small sample of the reasons why your company could be sued. You can read more about the above types of lawsuits and tips to avoid business lawsuits in our blogs.
Contact a Florida Business Law Attorney Today
Business litigation can be frustrating, time-consuming, and costly. Hiring an experienced business law attorney near you to handle the matter is one of the best ways to protect your company. Instead of focusing on the lawsuit, you can focus your attention on your business so that you can continue expanding the business that you have built and grown into a successful enterprise.
Matthew Fornaro, P.A. provides comprehensive legal services to businesses throughout Broward County. If your company has been served with notice of a lawsuit, call 954-324-3651 or contact us online. We will review the next steps you need to take to preserve your legal rights, discuss your options for defending your business, and begin developing a strong defense strategy to fight the allegations contained in the lawsuit.