5 PR Tips if Your Business is in Legal Trouble
A brand’s survival is often dependent on its reputation, and the confidence and trust of clients directly impact the success of any business. A brand with a good reputation attracts more consumers and better partners, and if things go wrong, the brand may get sued for multiple reasons. The last thing business owners want is to have their companies sued, as lawsuits are expensive in terms of money, time, and reputation, which puts organizations out of business. Below is a list of PR strategies an organization can take upon being served by lawsuit papers.
1. Review the Case With Your Lawyer
The first step you should take upon being sued is to analyze lawsuit papers with the help of a seasoned attorney. You are advised to assess the service information to establish whether it has the entity associated with the issues at hand and if not, you may dismiss the action. When you confirm that the service information is correct, you are advised to progress in reviewing the allegations. Ensure data related to the lawsuit, including emails, videos, photos, voice messages, and web pages, are adequately reserved as 37% of marketers claim that their budget is wasted due to poor quality data.
You may suspend the document destruction policy unless advised otherwise. Remember that any comment regarding the lawsuit can be used against you in court. You must avoid contacting and negotiating with the plaintiff once the case is filed in court. The time for such negotiations is restricted before filing a lawsuit, and any other communication must go through your lawyer. If the plaintiff is a business partner or an employee, you must make it clear that you cannot discuss the case which is in court with them.
2. Hire a Business Litigation Defense Lawyer
A company should not deal with lawsuits on its own. If you do not have a lawyer on retainer, you are advised to hire a lawyer specializing in the suit you are served with. An entrepreneur must seek legal services from an attorney with expertise in dealing with the claim filed in the case. A defective product case, for instance, is different from a fall and slip lawsuit. A wrongful death lawsuit is filed if the defendant committed malpractice, sold a risky drug, made a faulty machine, or served terrible food to the deceased. Like dealing with business matters, effective communication improves the chances of successful litigation. Hire a straightforward and knowledgeable lawyer who works on your case efficiently without withholding information from you.
3. Have a Plan to Proceed and Respond to the Lawsuit
Once you get served with lawsuit papers, you are given a specific time to come up with a written response and submit it to court with the help of an attorney. The company’s response must include the denial or admission of allegations, whether an entrepreneur may want a jury trial or an out-of-court settlement, or the business’s cross-claims and defenses against the plaintiff. Before responding, you must beware of claims against the company and your brand’s possible exposure and liability. It allows you to decide on how to proceed with a lawsuit, and the attorney is required to explain possible exit strategies and litigation plans to you. The attorney provides you with an estimated cost of multiple proceeding stages and may suggest an alternative dispute resolution.
4. Admit and Explain Your Position
The PR team must acknowledge the problem and publicly relay the brand’s position. Unless your lawyer advises you otherwise, you must explain your side by listing facts, and you may even omit some details regarding your case. The PR team is also tasked with tilting the public’s perception in favor of the organization. The company must hire an independent investigator to handle investigations on behalf of the brand. If a lawsuit against you results from team members doing something wrong, you are advised to admit the fault, especially when you have a weak defense. Clients will respect you when you own your mistakes.
5. Contact Your Insurance Provider
Business insurance policies cover a business entity when a lawsuit is filed, and almost a third of small businesses fail because of a lack of capital. If the policy covers the suit, the benefits pay the attorney’s fees, court costs, and any other judgment the company is liable for. Consult your insurance provider; if unsure, establish if the policy you have caters to the lawsuit, as a general liability policy covers some of the suits.
An entrepreneur must act proactively to minimize those incidents that may lead to a court case. You must establish measures that dispel future incidents and have a liability insurance policy to cushion yourself and the company from monetary costs.