If you have been sued by a customer who was injured in your business you are likely wondering how you can best defend your business against a potentially hefty financial loss at trial. This article addresses some ways that you can protect your business financially from a personal injury lawsuit by avoiding a verdict against your business.
- Hire an Attorney to Defend Your Claim. The number one thing that you can do to prevent a huge loss in the courtroom that could wreak financial havoc on your business is to hire a qualified business law attorney. A qualified attorney will have experience defending companies against personal injury lawsuits. They will know the law of your state and rules of your court and will be able to compellingly advocate on your behalf to a judge or jury. Hiring an attorney early in the life of your case, perhaps even before a complaint is formally filed against your business, will give you the best chance possible for successfully defending a personal injury lawsuit.
- Gather Relevant Evidence. If you believe that the plaintiff who is suing you is lying about the cause of his or her injury, or if you believe he or she is exaggerating the extent of his or her injury, consider what evidence you can gather to support your defense. Preserve all video surveillance. Get the names and contact information for any witnesses to the accident. Make sure that you maintain the names and contact information of any employees who were working at the time of the incident. Keep copies of any incident logs regarding the day of event. As a general rule of thumb, preserve all evidence that you can about the incident and about the events in your business from the day of the event.
- Carefully Consider Settlement. As a business, you have more to lose than just money. If the lawsuit against you gets attention from the media or from your other customers, you may also lose goodwill. It is important to preserve your business’s reputation for being a safe place for customers. At the same time, you want to make sure that you present a strong defense against the claim to discourage frivolous lawsuits which can be a financial drain on even the largest businesses. You should also consider the potential expense of defending against a personal injury claim which will almost certainly require you to hire an attorney and may also require you to retain an expert witness to testify on your behalf. You may be required to turn over documents during discovery, costing you and your employees time and energy to identify and produce the files. You must balance these concerns against your potential losses at trial. After careful consideration and consulting with your attorney it may be better to settle the personal injury claim outside of court to avoid trial.
If you have been sued, there are things you can do to limit the negative effect on your business. Consult with an experienced business lawyer Abingdon, VA trusts to find out more about what you can do to protect your business.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their insight into business law and accidents.