6 Steps You Should Absolutely Take If You’re Getting Sued
If you’re getting sued, chances are you don’t know what to do about it. Here are the 6 steps you need to take to defend yourself.
If you don’t get sued on a regular basis, then you most likely don’t know what steps to take when you do get sued. Getting sued is no walk in the park and isn’t something you should take lightly. If you don’t follow the right steps, then you could end up with more problems than what you started out with.
Whether you’re being sued over an accident happening in your home or business, over a complaint about your services, or something else, there are a few steps that need to be taken no matter what you’re sued for. Knowing what these steps are is your best bet for making the best out of your situation.
When you find yourself in a lawsuit and don’t know what to do, continue reading below. Here’s everything you need to know about the steps to take after being sued.
- Thoroughly Read the Summons
When someone sues you, you most likely won’t know about it until you’re served with the summons and the complaint against you. It’s essential that you read through both of these. The two documents are generally stapled to one another.
The summons is on top with the complaint following it. The summons will give you important information, such as what court the lawsuit was filed in, if there are any fees you must pay, and how long you have until you must respond.
The complaint will include information such as who’s suing you, why they’re suing you, and what this person is asking the court to do about the situation. Please be sure to read through all of this information.
- Contact Your Insurance
Depending on who you are and why you’re being sued, it might be in your best interest to contact your insurance company. You have certain insurance put in place to protect during times like these. Contact your insurer and let them know about the lawsuit.
Do keep in mind, however, that their number one interest is themselves. Make them aware of the lawsuit, but don’t lean on them completely for a way out of it.
- Contact Your Attorney
Your next step should be to contact your attorney. Unlike your insurer, your attorney’s job is to keep your best interest in mind at all times. When selecting the right attorney, be sure to choose someone who has experience dealing with similar cases to yours.
You want someone with a good track record and who can predict what the other party’s attorney will do. Take the time to do a bit of research before deciding who’s right for the job.
- Gather Essential Information
Talk to your attorney about what information or documents need to be collected. You don’t want to throw away or destroy any information that’s related to your case. This type of essential information might include data on a computer, emails, notes, files, accounting records, and more.
Some of this information could come in handy when your time in court comes. Speak to your attorney about what can and what can’t be thrown away. You should also refrain from speaking about the case with anyone other than your attorney.
- Stay Calm and Patient
It’s also important that you learn how to stay calm and patient throughout the process. You and anyone else that may be a witness for your case will be asked a variety of questions. Some of these questions might offend you while others seem unrelated to the case.
Stay calm and answer the questions without allowing yourself to get emotional or say more than what’s needed. You don’t want to volunteer any information, so keep your answers simple and to the point. Follow the lead of your attorney because he or she knows how to handle these situations.
You should also keep in mind that sometimes lawsuits can take years until they’re fully resolved. Don’t expect a resolution overnight. This is why many plaintiffs decide to take out presettlement lawsuit funding.
- Know Your Options
You should be aware of all your options when you’re sued. Many people don’t realize that there’s more than just one option. You’re handed the papers.
You contact your insurer and attorney. Now, you need to go over a few options, which you can discuss with your attorney. You can try to negotiate a resolution with the person suing you.
You can also decide to file an answer with the courts. You’ll have a certain amount of days to do so, so be sure to know your deadline. Your answer gives you the opportunity to prove your innocence and lets the courts know that you want to defend yourself.
Filing a motion to dismiss the lawsuit is another option you have. You can take this route if the plaintiff failed to serve you the summons and complaint, if the courts have no jurisdiction over you, or if you believe that the plaintiff has no real legal claim in the complaint.
You may also choose to sue the plaintiff in a counterclaim, depending on the case. The last option you have is to do nothing at all. Take caution, however, with this option. If you choose to do nothing, then the plaintiff will most likely ask the court to file a default judgment.
Getting Sued Is No Fun – We’re Here to Help
No one wants to learn that they’re getting sued, but if it does happen, we’re here to help. Be sure to follow the steps listed above, and stay positive.
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