Is your website getting sued?

Receiving a notice that your website is being sued can be overwhelming and confusing. We are not attorneys and this is not legal advice, but below are some recommended first steps if your website has received a demand letter or is being sued.

(vector art) A life-sized checklist with three vector people working together to check items off

If you would rather talk to humans and get advice specific to your situation, we’d be glad chat in a free consultation.

1. Contact an attorney

You may have already done this. Do be aware that website ADA lawsuits involve specialized case law. Your general business attorney may not have the experience necessary to provide the best guidance for you in this instance, and you may want to get at least a consultation from a specialist attorney. If you’d like a referral to an experienced digital ADA attorney, please email us.

2. Make a backup copy of your website that you take special care to preserve

In the course of the settlement negotiations and/or case, you may be called upon to show what your website looked like on a particular date, and you want to have a back up to be able to do that. Screenshots may not be enough, since you may need to demonstrate specific functionalities. You may want to do this several times over the course of the case.

Find a safe place to store these backups outside of your website hosting. Cloud storage like Google Drive or Dropbox is a good idea.

3. Document any fixes you are making

Following the advice of your attorney, you may want to start identifying and fixing some issues. If you do this, carefully document what you’ve fixed and the date that it was fixed. You can use a spreadsheet to keep track of this, although more detail is better. Our plans come with extensive detail and tracking of all fixes for this reason.

4. Automated testing does not find all issues

Do be aware that if you use automated tools (like the WAVE automated checker), these tools only find about 30% of all accessibility issues, and some of the issues that they do identify may be false positives. Some manual testing and validations will be needed.

5. Be aware that overlays are not a fix-all solution

If you utilize an “overlay solution” that creates an accessibility widget on your site, do be aware that similarly, these solutions can only find and fix about 30% of accessibility issues, so additional manual testing and remediations will be needed on your site to address compliance. Overlay solutions are not recommended except as a potential stopgap measure, and sites using these solutions are increasingly being targeted in lawsuits.

6. Reach out early to an accessibility specialist who can help you fix your site.

Addressing accessibility compliance can be complicated and take more time than anticipated, so start early. This also demonstrates a good faith effort that can be a benefit your settlement negotiations or court case. We can help with this!

7. Start thinking early about how to avoid future litigation

25% of all the website ADA lawsuits each year are sites being sued for a second or greater time. Get your content and development teams acquainted with accessibility guidelines so that new issues are not created. Set up documentation for a program of regular feedback, testing and remediation. We can help with this!

We can help!

We understand that receiving a demand letter and being sued for website accessibility can be stressful and confusing. We can help you address the challenges of a lawsuit as well as start laying the groundwork for a legal defense in the future. We offer a free, no obligation consultation where we can chat about your situation and offer some advice. If you are being sued or want to proactively protect your site, set up your free consultation today!