When you start a business one of the joys is often knowing that you are helping people get what they want and so fulfilling their needs or solving their problems. So when someone files a lawsuit against you it can make you feel really bad, more especially when you know what happened was not your fault. Here are some tips to help you deal with it.
- Get competent and experienced litigation lawyers immediately. You just cannot deal with litigation on your own, there is too much legal work that needs to be done if you are going to get a good result. And the quicker this starts, the better it will be for you. The better the lawyer, the better outcome you will get.
- Acknowledge your feelings and go easy on yourself for feeling them. Don’t try to hide them and act tough. It is normal to have a roller-coaster ride of different emotions from fear and resentment through to anger and frustration. Take time out for yourself to relax while still working on your business.
- Turn to your support network of family and friends. Knowing they are there to support you makes all the difference to your mental anguish at such a time.
- Understand that fighting for ‘right’ is not always possible due to the prohibitive costs of lawsuits. Try and settle out of court if you can and it will save you stress, time and money, even if you have to pay for something that was not your fault. Make the decision based on what makes the most sense for your business rather than on an emotional basis. Know that a great percentage of lawsuits are settled this way.
- Don’t be thrown into a panic or a poor decision by the plaintiff’s strong-arm tactics and fancy legal jargon you don’t understand. This is the politics of the system working and they are basically just trying to confuse and frighten you. Having a great lawyer really helps you cope with this.
- Hope for the best but plan for a worst case scenario. Cut costs and save wherever you can in your business so you’ll be prepared for the worst. It’s important to have a cash reserve in any business and if you don’t have to use it for the lawsuit, you’ll have it put by for another rainy day.
- Make perseverance and determination your new watchwords. Litigation need not be the end of the world or your business. You can rebuild and learn valuable lessons from it. You’ll soon realise that it is just a normal part of the business world and you can get through it if you really want to. And once you do, thank all those people who remained loyal to you.