Whilst running your own business comes with highs it also comes with lows. Unfortunately, not everything can go right all the time, and unexpected situations can arise that can leave you in a pickle.

You hoped it would never happen, but you knew there was always the risk: a client has sued your nail salon. So, what’s next?

Though this can be a distressing time, handling this situation carefully must become a priority to help keep your business and reputation intact.

Inform your legal representatives

The first step to take when your nail salon is served a claim is to review them with your legal representatives. It is important that you act promptly – failure to respond in time may mean you are prevented from defending yourself.

The sooner you consult with legal representatives, the more time they have to gather information and construct a strategy with you.

Remember that anything you say in relation to the plaintiff’s claim can be used again you. It’s advised that all communications should be made through your legal representatives and the plaintiff’s.

Inform your insurance provider

Informing your nail salon insurance provider is the next step to take. It’s important to know what your nail salon insurance policy covers, to see what protection is in place for your business. Depending on your policy, your insurance provider can help you to take care of legal fees, settlements or any compensation you might have to pay out.

Locate & preserve evidence

Any records that could be relevant to the case should be located and safely stored – whether they support or weaken your case. Destroying evidence is illegal and can lead to further and severe penalties.

Evidence could include payment records, any photographic evidence of nail services you performed on the claimant or incident reports if any accident had occurred.

Decide what action to take

When deciding what action to take, it is important to consider what will lead to the best outcome for your nail salon. You have the option to settle, admit liability or defend the claim. Dealing with the case swiftly and professionally can make it more likely that the claimant will be more forgiving.

Even if you believe you are in the right, there may be benefits to reaching a settlement agreement. Settling can ease tensions of being sued and help you to obtain the best result. You have more control over the outcome than you do if you let it go to court. Settling also means there is finality to the case, meaning you can begin to move on and reduce any further damage to your nail salon and its reputation.

If you are at fault, it is often best to admit you are liable. It is best to only defend the case if it is worth doing so, or if the claimant refuses to accept an offer.

It’s important to ensure you have nail salon insurance in place for your nail salon, in order to protect yourself and your business should the occasion arise. Your insurance can help you with any legal costs, which could potentially put you out of business if you weren’t covered.