It's a rainy afternoon, the tea just boiled over and you're having to make a new pot, calls are coming in from the office left and right. It's a hectic morning to say the least. You're flipping through bills and other mindless pieces of paper when you come across your worst nightmare. Your stomach drops to the floor as you realize the words in red ink tell you without having to say it, you're being sued.
Jane Doe from Connecticut cut her leg at your business last week and has decided to sue you for her medical bills. You, the business owner, have never been sued before and are not sure what steps to take. Well, here is a little bit of our legal advice.
Step 1. The first thing you do, is contact your attorney, immediately. If you do not have one, find a good one (preferably at Cruse Law Firm). *****Make sure not to have any direct contact with the plaintiff*****
Step 2. Next, you will need to inform your insurance provider of the complaint. Do not assume your insurance will cover the complaint. Every insurance company is different, and the type of incident will usually determine if you will see any money from your insurance provider. If you do not know your insurance provider's policies, you need to review them and make sure you're particular case is covered.
Step 3. This step will require you to decide how you would like to proceed, and you will need to respond to the complaint. There is usually a deadline to respond, so Step 1 is very important and should happen immediately. Have your lawyer explain the litigation plan and inform you of everything you need to know to proceed.****Do not ignore the suit.****
Step 4. If you do not have one, find a defense attorney. This is an extra step for those who may not work with a firm that has a defense attorney, or when the insurance provider does not provide the attorney. If your attorney is not communicating well with you, and you are having issues, do not stick with that attorney. You have the power to decide who will represent you and your business.
Tips for during the case:
Don't try to cover anything up.
Be diligent and prompt.
Stay focused on your business.
Protect yourself from copycat suits.
Stick with your plan of action and be confident in your defense.