Nothing can stifle an up-and-coming company’s growth like expensive and time-consuming lawsuits. Taking common sense steps to avoid lawsuits is often more effective than handling legal issues as they arise. We have outlined five ways to do that.
1. Have Sufficient Insurance
Liability insurance is essential for your business. The type of coverage you need depends largely on which industry you’re in. Liability coverage can defend you in many common situations, such as a slip-and-fall case involving a customer or visitor. If your business involves advising customers or clients, you may need errors and omissions coverage that protects your business if you or an employee gives inaccurate advice.
2. Keep Your Contracts in Order
Double- and triple-checking your contracts is a natural extension of getting insurance for your business since your contracts are essentially a form of insurance for your company. Consider, for example, a contract that protects you from liability if you are unable to meet a deadline due to supplier issues or an act of nature. This could protect you from a lawsuit if your supplier suddenly goes out of business or a tornado levels your distribution center. It can be exceptionally difficult to plan for all possible situations in your contracts, which is where this next tip becomes extremely important.
3. Obtain Ongoing General Counsel
Having a business lawyer on retainer can save you money, time, and stress. With their experience in business contracts and legal issues, they can predict potential challenges and protect you from those challenges with carefully-written contracts. If your business is sued despite your best efforts, your lawyer already has the inside knowledge they need to defend your company.
4. Maintain Thorough Documentation
When a company is upfront and transparent about their policies and procedures, it’s easier for staff members to treat clients and customers fairly to avoid potential lawsuits. Employees should receive updated job manuals or employee handbooks that outline how to handle specific situations. Their handbook should also give them clear recourse if they feel like they have been treated poorly in the workplace. Handling employee complaints early can prevent a wide range of legal problems.
5. Make Customers Happy
Generally speaking, happy customers don’t sue businesses. Mistakes are inevitable in business, but if you can defuse a situation early, it’s less likely to lead to a lawsuit. On the same note, customers and clients may be more forgiving of an occasional error if you otherwise provide excellent service. Make sure that your training protocols teach employees how to calm customers down and avoid escalating tense situations.
As a business owner, you have enough items on your to-do list without having to tackle legal issues on your own. We can help—call Trembly Law at (305) 431-5678 to discuss your company’s legal needs.