If your business is open to the public then you have the responsibility to ensure that your customers and clients are as safe as possible. The risk that all of these types of businesses face are personal injury lawsuits so you need to make sure that you are adequately prepared for this to occur. As much as you can try your best to avoid such lawsuits, accidents can and do happen. If your business is being sued for negligence then these are the 5 steps you should follow.
1. Consult Your Lawyers
If your business is being sued for negligence then the first thing you need to do as a responsible business owner is to contact your business lawyer. Keep your emotions in check at this point, it is easy to be overwhelmed by emotions but you need to distance yourself from the personal element. The person suing your business has a right to consult an Orange County personal injury attorney to plead their case and you need to understand and accept that right from the start. You should never attempt to contact the plaintiff directly.
2. Inform Your Insurance Company
Several different business insurance policies will protect your company against any potential lawsuits but third-party injury claims will typically be covered by general liability insurance. You need to contact your insurance provider to inform them of the lawsuit as soon as possible. If the suit falls under what your policy covers then your legal costs should all be covered by your business insurance claim.
3. Gather Evidence
Every business has to adhere to duty of care; some have the responsibility to protect their employees, and others must protect their employees as well as their customers. Businesses that are open to the public have to do their best to ensure the safety of their customers and you will need to provide evidence that your business did this to the best of its ability. Gather evidence that proves your business did everything it could reasonably do to prevent injuries; this evidence can be in the form of cleaning schedules and maintenance documents.
4. Respond & Proceed
Once you have received the notification that your business is being sued for negligence you will typically have 30 days in which to respond, this can vary depending on which state you are in but your business lawyer will be able to advise you further on that. Your response needs to detail whether or not you admit or deny the allegations set forth by the plaintiff, it also needs to include whether you intend to go to trial or if you want to settle out of court.
5. Find A Defense Attorney
The last step is to hire a defense attorney if you don’t already have one. Sometimes your insurance provider will provide you with one but check your particular policy details on this. If you do need to find your own then only ever hire a well-experienced legal counsel, particularly one that has experience with this particular type of lawsuit.