If your Florida company has never faced a lawsuit, you have been lucky so far. Business owners often find themselves on one side or the other of a legal action. These actions require time, money and resources from your business, and they have the potential to damage the reputation of your company.
Lawsuits are common and can come from many different directions. In fact, you may find it is necessary to file your own claim to protect your interests. Because of this, it is wise to prepare your company for this possibility and to know the best ways to protect your rights if you are a party in a legal action.
Lawsuits to look out for
One of the most common lawsuits companies face involves contract issues. Whether you have contracts with suppliers, contractors or customers, no matter how soundly you draft your contract, there is always room for dispute. You may feel the other party has not lived up to its terms, or the other party may accuse you of not following through on the product or service you promised. In addition to breach of contract claims, other common lawsuits many businesses face include the following:
- Employee discrimination: An employee may accuse you of failing to protect his or her civil rights related to sex, race, age, pregnancy, disability or other protected classes.
- Wrongful termination: An employee may claim you fired him or her for unlawful reasons, such as discrimination or retaliation.
- Other discrimination: You may also face accusations that your company engaged in discriminatory practices when dealing with customers, vendors, contractors or others.
- Wages: Employees may take legal action if they feel you have paid them an unfair wage, withheld overtime or wrongly classified them.
- Unintentional torts: If someone in your company is negligent resulting in property damage or injury to another, the victim may file a lawsuit to seek compensation.
While a good insurance policy may cover many of these claims, you certainly want to minimize the impact of a lawsuit on your business. On the other hand, if your company is the plaintiff in a lawsuit, you want every advantage that will help you meet your goals. It is not healthy to run your business always on the defensive, but careful record-keeping and diligent documentation can prove valuable if you should be party to a lawsuit. Additionally, the advice and guidance of a skilled attorney can benefit your cause.