If you are a small business owner and you worry about being sued, you are not alone. An organization called Faces of Lawsuit Abuse found that 75% of small business owners worry about being a target of an unfair or frivolous lawsuit. Small business owners in America pay an aggregate total cost of about $20 million per year to defend against tort lawsuits. Klemm Analysis Group reports that 52% of all civil lawsuits are against small businesses. For the average small business, which makes about $1 million per year, $20,000 per year will be used for legal expenses to defend against lawsuits.
Three Steps to Take If You Are Served Legal Papers in Austin, TX
1) If you are served legal papers that inform you that you are being sued, accept them. It is better to deal with this type of negative event right away, rather than to try to hide from it.
2) Contact your attorney before making any statement about the case to anyone (including your own workers).
3) Contact your agent at Southwest Insurance Center in Austin, TX, to discuss the coverage you have and to inform them of the potential liability, so that they can work with you and your attorney to reduce your exposure.
Hopefully, you already had an annual review of your insurance coverage and the coverage is adequate. This is why it is critical to regularly review your commercial insurance coverage with your agent. Very often these lawsuits, especially ones that are frivolous, happen unexpectedly.
If you own a small business, the chances of being sued are very high. It is best to be proactive in order to prepare for this eventuality. Small businesses do not have the resources to easily defend themselves when compared to major corporations that have permanent in-house legal staff.
Be sure to discuss the potential risks with your insurance agent at Southwest Insurance Center in Austin, TX and ask about umbrella coverage, which is used to insure a small business against some of the extraordinary risks, such as lawsuits.