The reputation of a brand is essential for its survival. The trust and confidence of clients has a direct impact on their success. Brands with a good reputation attract better partners and more consumers. That’s why it becomes a complex issue when things go wrong, and you get sued for various reasons.
Lawsuits can get very expensive and place a lot of financial burden on the plaintiff. But since they want justice through some form of compensation, they proceed anyway. To lessen the financial burden, individuals choose to apply for legal funding. But what is legal funding?
It’s a process by which plaintiffs receive a law cash advance from a lawsuit loan company. The law cash advance is used to pay for medical bills as well as take care of cash for cases and other expenses. It enables plaintiffs to resist the financial pressure tactics that brands count on. Plaintiffs are at liberty to spend the personal injury lawsuit loans the way they want.
Through the court settlement, the law cash pre-settlement funding gets paid back. The advantage of accident loans is that lawsuit lending companies don’t expect payback when you lose the case. Express Legal Funding is one such company. They understand that plaintiffs need cash while waiting on a settlement.
Express Legal Funding services offer clients more affordable and transparent rates. Some of the common types of pre-settlement loans they offer include:
- Car accident lawsuit loans
- Slip and fall accident loans
- Product liability lawsuit loans
Lawsuits can do a lot of financial and emotional damage to a business. That’s why an organization must find a smart way through its PR department to protect itself. That way, you can continue to focus on sales, cash flow, and employees.
Strategies to put in place when your brand gets sued
The last thing you want to hear is that your organization is getting sued. Lawsuits can get expensive in terms of time, money, and reputation. It’s also possible for a lawsuit to put your organization out of business. So, what PR strategies can an organization take when those suit papers get served? Let’s find that out.
1. Contact a business litigation defense attorney
An organization shouldn’t have to deal with a lawsuit on its own. Look for an attorney with a specialty in the type of lawsuit you were served. That’s if you don’t have an attorney on retainer.
You should retain an attorney who’s experienced in dealing with the type of claim in the case. For instance, a slip and fall lawsuit is different from a defective product case.
Like in business matters, effective communication is key in ensuring successful litigation. You want to have a knowledgeable and straightforward attorney working on your case. Don’t go for an attorney who withholds information from you.
2. Review the case with your attorney
When sued, the first thing you should do is analyze the suit papers. This should be done with an experienced attorney. Check the service information to ensure it has the entity associated with the issues. If not, choose to dismiss the action. But if the service information is correct, then you can go ahead and review the allegations.
Ensure that all data related to the lawsuit is properly reserved. Such data can include:
- Web pages
- Voice messages
If you have a document destruction policy, have it suspended until advised otherwise.
Remember that anything you say about the lawsuit can get used against you in court. Thus, avoid contacting the plaintiff once the case has been filed. This is not the time to negotiate with the plaintiff. That time came to an end before the lawsuit was filed. Any other communication should be through your attorney.
If the plaintiff is an employee or a business partner, make it clear that you’ll not discuss the case with them.
3. Inform your insurance provider
Some business insurance policies will cover a business in case of a lawsuit. That’s if the lawsuit falls under what the policy covers. Your benefits can pay for court costs and the attorney’s fees. They can also pay for any other judgment the brand is found liable for.
If you’re unsure, consult your insurance provider to find out if your policy covers the lawsuit. That’s because not all lawsuits are covered by the general liability policy.
4. Decide how to proceed and respond to the lawsuit
Once you’re served with the suit papers, you’re given a deadline to submit a written response to it. The brand’s response should include the following:
- Admission or denial of the allegations
- The businesses defenses and cross-claims against the plaintiff
- Whether you’d want an alternative resolution like an out of court settlement or a jury trial
Before responding, ensure you understand the nature of the claims against the organization. You should be aware of the possible liability and exposure of your brand. It helps to ensure you make a business decision on how to proceed with the lawsuit.
Have your attorney explain to you the litigation plan and possible exit strategies. It’s also necessary that you know the approximate costs at various stages of the proceedings. Find out from the attorney if it’s right to suggest an alternative dispute resolution.
5. Acknowledge and explain your position
The PR team should acknowledge the problem and explain the brand’s position publicly. Unless advised otherwise by your attorney, list facts and explain your side of things. You’re at liberty to omit some details about the case. The PR team should also try and tilt the public’s perception in the organization’s favor.
The organization should also come up with an independent investigation on the matter. The investigations should be handled by a task force with the mandate to act on behalf of the brand.
A lawsuit can come against you because your team did something wrong. In such a case, it’s best to admit fault and move past it, especially if you don’t have a strong defense. Owning up to your mistakes will have your clients respect you for them.
6. Circulate facts and politely dispel misconceptions
In most cases, lawsuits against an organization are accompanied by circulating misinformation. Thus, it’s easy for rumors, inaccuracies, and lies to get blown out of proportion.
The PR team must be proactive in dispelling such information. Also, try and broadcast facts about the lawsuit. But while doing this, keep in mind that you can only go as far as the legal situation allows.
7. Foster empathy
Consumers don’t care about a faceless organization facing a lawsuit. But, they’ll certainly care about a personal face. PR executives should try and provoke as much empathy as they can. This can happen by making one person in the organization the face of the lawsuit.
Ensure that all PR efforts get done from a personal and relatable perspective.
It’s necessary that you proactively avoid another incident that could lead to a court case. That may be hard, but you can put up measures to dispel future incidents.
You can use the basic and accelerating factors of the case to think about your brand and operations. You can also go for a liability insurance policy to protect yourself from monetary costs.