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    Risk Management 101: Why Are Businesses and Individuals Sued?  by Christopher P. Lawson

    I.     Generally Perceived Reasons Why Businesses and Individuals are Sued:

                    A.        Greedy or Fraudulent Plaintiffs;

                    B.        The Defendant was Negligent; and

                    C.        The Defendant Breached Their Contractual Terms.

    II.     Real Reasons Businesses and Individuals are Sued:
            (It has nothing to do with actual negligence or a breach of contract)

                    A.        Poor Communication With Their Customers or Business Partners

                                1.     Failing to Find Out Your Customers' Needs;

                                2.     Failing to Adequately Reduce an Agreement to Writing (i.e. A Written Contract);

                                3.     Failing to Communicate Reasonable Expectations of the Final Outcome (i.e. Managing
                                        Expectations);

                                4.     Failing to Communicate Who is Responsible For What Action or Duty (Between the Business
                                        and the Customer or between Two Professionals or Businesses Working on a Project Together);

                                5.     Failing to Return Phone Calls; and

                                6.     Failing to Provide Wrap-up Communication.

                    B.        Poor Relationship Skills

                                1.     Failing to Communicate Appropriately as Stated Above;

                                2.     Poor Attitude (i.e. Anything That Connotes That You Do Not Appreciate Your Customers' Business);

                                3.     Condescending Attitude (i.e. "I am the expert and I am going to disregard your feedback."); and

                                4.     Yelling, Hitting or Otherwise Unacceptable Behavior (Believe it or not – it happens!).

    III.    Solutions: How to Avoid Being Sued

                    A.        Find Out Your Customers' Needs and Manage Expectations;

                    B.        Document your Agreements;

                    C.        Encourage Constant Communication; and

                    D.        Be Nice! Remember How You Like to be Treated When You Are the Customer.

    If you need a lawyer, go to my web site at: www.lawsonlawllc.com


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