Being served with a lawsuit is stressful, even if you believe the claim is without merit. In many cases, the actions taken by the business owners to defend against a suit can determine the outcome. That’s why it’s so important to act swiftly, as explained by Business News Daily.
First and foremost, do not ignore the issue in the hopes it will go away. You often have a limited window of time to respond, as little as 30 days in some cases. Once you receive notice, talk with your legal team immediately to determine what the suit is alleging and the merit of their claim. You should also compile any documents related to the matter; these will be useful in your defense, should the matter go to trial. Even if a piece of information may seem unimportant, it is prudent to retain it anyway if it pertains in any way to the lawsuit.
Furthermore, do not speak with the other party directly for any reason. Even seemingly harmless communication may have a detrimental effect for your defense against the claim. All communications with the opposing party should be done through your legal team. However, if there is a reason that you must communicate with the opposing party regarding other matters, refrain from discussing lawsuit-related matters in any way, shape, or form.
Your attorney will have a few different strategies on how to proceed with the matter. In some instances, the best option for business owners is to quickly settle with the opposing side, especially when the amount demanded is a relatively small amount of money. Even minor litigation can incur huge costs, especially when cases become protracted. Additionally, both sides should consider creative alternative methods of settlement besides monetary payments. If the suit does go to trial, be honest and forthright with your attorney. Not disclosing information to your attorney may backfire and result in catastrophic consequences.
Having an experienced and knowledgeable litigation attorney on your team can make all the difference in defending your case. By retaining an attorney immediately after receiving notice of a lawsuit allows for the attorney to help you avoid common pitfalls and mistakes. Also, this would give your attorney sufficient time to attempt to settle the matter quickly or prepare for trial if settlement negotiations do not pan out.