If you’re running a tech business, you’re probably careful to follow labor laws and industry regulations that apply to your business. While it might seem like following the law will prevent you from getting sued, that’s not always the case. In fact, even when you follow the law to the letter you can still get sued.
People can file lawsuits for any reason. It’s up to the court to decide whether the case has any merit. If you get sued, even if you’re innocent, you’ll have to defend yourself in court.
Lawsuits are time-consuming and expensive, even when you’re innocent. When you’re in the wrong, lawsuits can cost you your business and therefore your livelihood. Unfortunately, some people will file a lawsuit against a company for making one small mistake. If they can prove damages, they’ll win.
You can’t prevent all lawsuits, but you can mitigate the potential for certain types of lawsuits. If you own a tech company, here are 3 lawsuits you can actively prevent.
1. Slip and fall lawsuits
Personal injuries are one of the easiest lawsuits to prevent by fixing hazardous conditions and implementing policies that put safety first. For example, if your sidewalk is cracked, you’ll want to fix it right away so nobody trips and falls.
If you run a retail shop, you’ll want to create policies for handling spills and broken items. For instance, have spill stations throughout the store that house gloves and powder for cleaning chemical spills and a broom for cleaning up broken glass.
Personal injury lawsuits are expensive
Personal injury lawsuits for a slip and fall accident can end in astronomical settlements. Depending on the injury and your insurance coverage, you might be able to save your business. However, if you don’t have enough insurance and the injury is severe – like a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury – you might be forced into bankruptcy.
According to Dolman Law, there are five factors that contribute to determining how much a slip and fall case is worth:
- Economic damage
- Future treatment needs
- Current lost wages
- Future lost wages
- Noneconomic damage
All of these factors can significantly increase the amount of damages awarded to the injured party. Since the financial risk is high, it makes sense to do whatever you can to mitigate the potential for a slip and fall lawsuit.
2. Antitrust lawsuits
Antitrust lawsuits against big tech companies are common. According to Reuters, giant tech companies like Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, and Facebook have been facing a barrage of antitrust lawsuits for operating monopolies and abusing their power. These companies are getting sued by states, the U.S. Justice Department, and state attorney generals.
What is an antitrust lawsuit?
Antitrust lawsuits are filed when a company violates competitive marketplace laws established by the United States federal government. These laws are designed toprotect consumers from predatory business practices. Predatory business practices include things like bid rigging, price fixing, and running a monopoly.
If you’re not a gigantic tech company, you probably don’t have to worry about fighting an antitrust lawsuit, but you still need to be aware of what’s involved. Today’s major tech companies were once small companies, so the possibility might not apply today, yet could become your future reality.
The best way to prevent an antitrust lawsuit is to consult with an attorney as your company grows to make sure you aren’t in danger of violating antitrust laws.
3. Labor law violations
Labor law isn’t as complex as antirust laws, but for some reason, businesses find it difficult to stay compliant. Technically, it’s not hard to understand labor law. The problem is that most managers aren’t aware of the law and make mistakes that can cost your business dearly.
For example, if your company fails to provide an employee with all required breaks, in some states that employee is entitled to an hour of pay for every day they don’t get all of their breaks. This can add up over a long period of time. If it’s happening to all of your employees at a large corporation, it can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Most employees won’t sue for not getting breaks, but if the violation is severe enough to warrant a class action lawsuit, you could be in serious trouble.
Keep an attorney on retainer
To avoid the unnecessary hardship of battling a lawsuit, keep an attorney on retainer and consult with them frequently. Make sure you stay on the right side of all laws pertaining to employment and your industry. You won’t be able to avoid all lawsuits, but you will avoid the ones that are easily preventable.