You’ve Been Sued. Here’s What You Should & Shouldn’t Do.
As a business owner, one of your top fears is that your product or service causes harm to someone else or another business owner. Unfortunately, it is often a cost of doing business. And if you discover your business is the defendant of a civil lawsuit, it is important you know what to do.
As the leading Seattle business litigation attorneys, the team at Frey Buck P.S. has outlined a few steps you should and should not take if you’re being sued. Read on for more and don’t hesitate to reach out to Frey Buck P.S. for assistance from experienced Seattle commercial litigation attorney.
Why Are You Being Sued? Top 5 Causes of Business Litigation
While your business could be sued for a number of reasons, we’ve outlined a few of the most common causes of business litigation:
- Breach of Contract. This simply means that your business has failed to deliver on the terms of the contract. This can include failing to pay for goods, failing to deliver goods, revealing a trade secret, delivering incorrect or damaged goods, etc.
- Premises Liability. These lawsuits may arise if someone is seriously injured or killed — sometimes by someone else — while at your business. You could be held liable if your business does not have sufficient protective measures in place.
- Slip-and-Fall Accidents. As the name suggests, this is when someone experiences a slip or tumble and is injured while at your business.
- Intellectual property rights. Whether it is an image you found on the net, your logo, or the name of another business, a company can suggest you illegally infringed on their prior rights. If this is the case, you could be held accountable.
- Automotive Accidents. If one of your employees causes an automobile accident while operating a company vehicle, your business could be on the hook for damage.
My Business Is Being Sued… What Should I Do?
Now that we’ve covered the most common types of cases Seattle business lawyers litigate, let’s look at a few key dos and don’ts if you’ve been sued.
Do Not Ignore the Complaint
Once the complaint has been filed, it will not just go away on its own. In fact, if you choose to ignore the lawsuit, it could lead to a default judgment, which can result in a finding your company is liable without the plaintiff even having to prove her case. Then the plaintiff can enact a range of collection methods, including freezing bank accounts and foreclosing on company-owned real estate. Instead, it is essential to work with a commercial litigation attorney to appear for you and deal with the complaint.
Do Choose Experienced Seattle Washington Attorneys
As soon as you receive the suit papers, the first and most important step you should take is to work with a team of Seattle Washington attorneys to protect your rights. However, not all attorneys are created equal. Look for experienced commercial litigation attorneys who have handled similar cases previously. Because time is of the essence, it is imperative to give your attorney ample time to review the case, file the appropriate filings, and execute a viable defense.
Do Not Communicate with the Plaintiff Directly
If you are being sued, silence is golden. After the lawsuit has been filed, anything you say can quickly turn into potentially damning evidence. Simply put, all or any communication with the plaintiff should be facilitated by or through your attorney.
However, this may not always be possible to avoid all contact with the claimant, particularly if it is another company or a current employee. In this case, you should make it clear the lawsuit will not be a topic of discussion. And above all, if your business is being sued, you should not contact the plaintiff to attempt to settle the issue on your own.
Have Realistic Expectations About the Lawsuit
While everyone wants to win a lawsuit, a significant number of civil suits are settled due to the risk and cost associated with taking it to trial. Consider this: most Seattle business litigation attorneys are paid by the hour, and a complicated case can easily require hundreds of hours. If your team of Seattle business attorneys attempt to guide you toward a settlement, it does not mean they are not on your side. On the contrary, it means they may be doing what’s best for you and the future of your business. However, sometimes trial is your best or only option, and it is of the utmost importance you have a team of experienced Seattle business litigation attorneys in your corner.
How Long Do Business Lawsuits Last?
Business litigation rules are engineered to ensure those who initiate a lawsuit have the chance to gather evidence or have their day in court. This means the case could last for several months up to several years — longer if there is an appeal. As a result, it is important you enter the proceedings with realistic expectations. Make sure to work with your team of commercial litigation attorneys to gain a clear understanding.
Contact the Team of Seattle Business Litigation Attorneys at Frey Buck for Representation
Whether your business is being sued or is looking to initiate a lawsuit, the experienced Seattle Washington attorneys at Frey Buck can help. As leading Seattle business attorneys, we specialize in preparing and trying business cases. While we will always do what’s best for you, we boast an unparalleled record of success in the courtroom. Simply put, we will fight for your rights and maximize client benefit in every circumstance.
Contact the Seattle business attorneys at Frey Buck today.