What To Do When Your Business Is Sued

Daren Brown
By Daren Brown | March 21, 2019
What To Do When Your Business Is Sued
It is never a pleasant experience to receive notice that your business is being sued. The toll it can take emotionally and financially is something that can greatly affect your business and, if you're not careful, even your clients and customers. Here are a few things you need to know and some steps you should take if you or your business is ever named as a defendant in a lawsuit.

My Business Has Been Sued. What Do I Do?

First, never ignore a lawsuit. It won't magically go away and, if you ignore it, it could lead to a default judgment. The moment you receive notice, the clock starts ticking and you need to react quickly to avoid losing the opportunity to defend against the claims.

Second, compile all of the information you have regarding the plaintiff's relationship with your business. This may help you determine the cause of the suit and can be useful in determining the steps you will need to take to defend the claims against your business. Most importantly, the more information your business litigation attorney has, the better position he or she will be in to help defend the case.

Third, contact your insurance company or insurance agent immediately to provide them with notice of the pending suit. Failing to notify your insurer in a timely manner can result in the loss of coverage for claims that might otherwise be covered by your insurance. You pay for your company’s insurance every month, this is the time to use it.

Finally, don't go it alone. Here in Texas, many businesses are not permitted to represent themselves. For instance,Limited Liability Partnerships are required to retain and be represented by counsel in any lawsuit filed against them. Furthermore, an experienced attorney can be an excellent source of information and know-how when it comes to navigating the sometimes rough and murky waters of business litigation.

What your ultimate goal is in the litigation often depends upon your circumstances and the claims made against you and your business. Although not always the case, lawsuits can often be resolved through mediation early in the process. If the parties and their attorneys have enough information, mediation may resolve the suit before the litigants spend substantial time and money on the case. An early mediated settlement can minimize the burden on your business and allow you to get back to conducting normal operations. 

What Happens If My Case Can't Be Settled Out of Court?

Of course, when litigation can't be resolved through mediation, then it is time to prepare for battle. You will need to have discussions with your attorney about the length of time the lawsuit will last, the estimated expenses involved in litigating the case, and the amount of time it will take you away from your business and family. You then will need to prepare your employees and your family for the disruption it will cause in the normal routine.

At the Amarillo law firm Stockard, Johnston, Brown & Netardus, P.C., highly qualified attorneys have experience in a wide variety of legal disciplines including business law and business litigation. Kenneth Netardus, a successful business litigation attorney, is the one to call when your business is being sued. With almost 20 years of practice in this area, Kenneth Netardus can help guide you through this unfamiliar process. If your business has been sued, or you have reason to believe it is about to be sued, call Stockard, Johnston & Brown, P.C. in Amarillo, Texas today at 806-372-2202 and discuss with an experienced attorney the steps you need to take going forward.

image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / Free Digital Photos

Topics: Liability