If you’re like most people, you’d prefer not getting involved in a lawsuit. So how can you avoid lawsuits? Unfortunately, the answer is – it is impossible to totally and unequivocally eliminate all risk of litigation. You simply can’t avoid any and every possible lawsuit. We live in an uncertain world and lawsuits can arise regardless of the preventative steps one takes to avoid them.
That being said, there are a few tips we like to give to either help prevent some of the risk of potential lawsuits and, perhaps more importantly, mitigate the impact a lawsuit might have on you or your business if it cannot be avoided.
Pay Your Debts
One of the most common ways people get in potential legal trouble is failing to pay debts. We all know people get busy and it can be hard to keep up with all the different payments. Maybe financial circumstances have taken a turn for the worst and you are struggling to keep up. Unfortunately, since almost everyone owes someone some money at some point, disputes about debts are ubiquitous and many times end up involving litigation. If you’re someone who double checks that all of your debts are satisfied each billing cycle, it can do a lot for you to avoid being sued.
For Renters, Learn Your State's Landlord Tenant Laws
Another category we see almost every day are legal disputes arising between landlords and tenants. Luckily, these laws are usually pretty straightforward and it always pays to be familiar with each side’s obligations and rights. Note that each state has different landlord tenant laws with a wide range of different outcomes so make sure if you are learning about the law, its about your state’s law and not another state.
Read Everything You Sign or Agree To and Be Prepared to Honor Agreements
Aside from the above mentioned points, contract disputes also make up a large portion of potential lawsuits. If you are signing something, make sure you not only understand it but fully intend to honor it. Not only that, but this principle doesn’t only apply to written contracts. Sometimes just agreeing to something can meet the elements of a contract. It simply depends on the state law and the facts at hand in your individual case. So as a rule of thumb, take it seriously whenever you are agreeing to something – especially if its in writing. You should fully expect to be held to that agreement and often times, it is those agreements that end with lawsuits if they fall apart.
Drive as Safely As Possible
Another thing that most of us do, and unfortately that results in plenty of lawsuits, is driving our vehicles. Since we represent the victims of car accidents, the attorneys at our firm think safe defensive driving is one of the most important things our clients and the community at large should focus on. Car accidents can be devastating in so many profound ways. Taking a bit of extra time to be as safe as possible on the road not only protects your health and the safety of the community but it also is a great way to avoid a lawsuit. Of course this is one of the inevitable parts of modern society and not all car accidents can be avoided simply by one driver who is safe and following applicable traffic laws. Of course, maintain adequate insurance and take a look at some of our car insurance guides to make sure you have underinsured coverage, gap insurance and understand if your policy has a family exclusion. Insurance can be so critical, we’ve actually decided to make it into its own category.
Keep Appropriate Insurance
Insurance can be the most important thing when you need it and you’re covered. While we have had plenty of unfortunate cases where insurance coverage was excluded, having insurance is either legally required in most cases or simply a good idea to have. Most insurance policies are going to include a provision whereby the insurance company will provide a lawyer for your defense should an unfortunate situation arise where you are potentially liable. This can protect your finances if a lawsuit is filed. If you were involved in an unfortunate accident, you might end up liable and the financial outlay could be sizable. The benefit of having insurance, if it ultimately covers you (and, unfortunately, that can be a big “if” sometimes), cannot be overstated. Insurance can potentially cover the financial losses you might be liable for if you are sued as well. We go as far as recommending that people schedule a few hours with their attorney to review their insurance policies.
Have an Established Relationship with a Law Firm
In fact, having an attorney you meet with at least a few times a year for this type of thing is not a bad idea. While we understand that meetings with lawyers isn’t exactly inexpensive, pay for a few hours of time. It is really important to at least have a law firm where you are familiar with some of the attorneys and an ongoing established relationship can substantially reduce the stress of potential legal problems. We’re just a phone call away at 419-900-0955. Having someone to call when you are being sued can be the smartest decision of them all.