There are some companies who seem to be expecting lawsuits, like one could jump out at them from any possible direction at any time. Indeed, there are companies who seem to have lawsuits filed against them at a rate of several a year. But these companies tend to be the big guns. The ones with billions of dollars in annual revenue. The ones who can seemingly afford it, who can pay off a lawsuit as easily as one may blow a fly from their shoulder. But I’m going to guess that if you’re reading this article that you don’t own one of those companies.
It’s not just the ultra-rich who get sued
The image of big companies who can be justified in such lawsuit-paranoia gives rise to a dangerous image. That image depicts a world in which only the million- or billion-dollar companies really have to worry about lawsuits at all. Maybe this is the result of all the news coverage that the big companies get when they’re sued. Maybe people think that consumers wouldn’t dare sue a small company who don’t exactly have six- or seven-figures to their name.
But these are all examples of quite dangerous thinking. Big or small, a lawsuit could easily become a problem for you if you’re not careful. (And even if you are careful.) And if you’re a small business, the problem is much more pronounced. One lawsuit could cripple your company.
The risks of not looking after your employees
This may surprise you: the lawsuits brought against small businesses don’t always come from consumers. In fact, an alarming number of them comes from within the company. You probably know now just what I’m referring to: companies getting sued by their employees due to negligence or mistreatment.
There are so many cases of small businesses being so overworked that the employers fall into some bad habits. It might be that they hire employees without properly reviewing the contracts. It might be that they fail to have the resources to properly comply with workers’ rights. It could even be that their employees are injured due to an avoidable mishap. In any case, one of these lawsuits could be disastrous for your company. The ways in which you must comply with all the rights of workers will, of course, depend on your industry. Industrial employers, for example, can check out 5 safety products for the warehouse & factory.
David vs Goliath
Advertising is one thing you should be careful about. A false advertisement can, of course, see you getting sued by a disgruntled customer. It’s more likely, however, that a standards agency of some kind will show up at your doorstep with some sort of penalty, usually a hefty fine.
But the real trouble here may come in the form of those aforementioned “big” companies. Because trust me: many of them are in no way afraid to use a lawsuit in order to crush tiny companies who dare step on their toes. Take a look at the Unilever vs Just Foods lawsuit that nearly made it into a courtroom, for example. Be careful when it comes to the companies who can afford really good lawyers!