Being served with a lawsuit can be a scary experience, especially if you have no experience in court. Lots of people end up panicking and ignore the lawsuit entirely. However, this is the last thing that you should do. Here’s what you need to know if you are on the receiving end of a lawsuit.
Assess the Lawsuit
The first thing to do when you are served with a lawsuit is to make sure that you read it carefully and absorb all the information contained within it. Before you proceed any further, you need to understand who has filed the lawsuit against you and why, as this will determine the most appropriate course of action to take.
Your deadline for responding to a lawsuit will depend on the specifics of the suit, where it was filed, and why. However, every suit will come with a deadline for you to respond. If this deadline passes without you having responded, then you will automatically default on the lawsuit. In other words, the court will automatically rule against you.
Check Their History
Some people are very litigious; they will find any excuse they can to file a lawsuit and will file over the pettiest of incidents. If you are dealing with someone who has a history of filing vexatious lawsuits, then you might be able to have the suit dismissed on these grounds.
Lawsuit Records are publicly available, and websites like Public Record Reviews enable you to search through them with ease. In addition to lawsuit records, you can also find a range of other records in the Public Record Reviews database. This information can be invaluable in working out how to proceed, so make sure you share anything that you find with your attorney.
Secure Legal Representation
Whenever you are facing any kind of legal proceedings, it is essential that you have a qualified legal professional on your side. You don’t want to take any chances when it comes to your legal or financial situation, playing fast and loose with either can end up being disastrous for you. A qualified attorney will enable you to avoid the most common pitfalls that people fall into when they are on the receiving end of a lawsuit. They will also be able to advise you on what to expect throughout the process.
Finding the right attorney to help argue your case is essential. If you are paired with the wrong attorney, then it can make both of your lives much more difficult. The right attorney is one that has experience in arguing cases similar to the one you are facing. Therefore, the best lawyer for you will depend on the specific contents of the lawsuit.
Evaluate Your Options
Once you have secured proper legal representation, your attorneys can help you to evaluate the options available to you and decide on the best way forward. In some cases, the choice will be easy. For example, if your attorney thinks that the case is going to be an easy win for you, then they may recommend that you let it play out and potentially file a counter-suit at the end of it. On the other hand, if they think that you have no chance of convincing a judge to side with you, they may well suggest that you try and settle the dispute out of court.
You don’t have to do what your attorney recommends but you should obviously heed their opinion and take it into account. You should discuss your options with your spouse, or anyone else who is also impacted by the lawsuit. If you have any questions about any of your options and what they entail, you should consult with your attorney.
Make Sure You Don’t Ignore It
If you are in debt and owe money, then your creditors cannot forcibly collect money from you until a court has issued a judgment against you. For this to happen, your creditors will need to file a lawsuit in court. Whether you agree that you owe the money or not, and irrespective of your ability to repay the debt, if you ignore the lawsuit then you will have a default judgment entered against you.
In some cases, such as when the statute of limitations on the debt has expired, all you have to do is turn up in court to contest the debt and it will be waived. However, if you don’t contest the debt then it doesn’t matter whether it is justified or not, a judgment will be entered against you by default.
No one wants to have to deal with the court system any more than they absolutely have to. However, you should know what to do if you ever do find yourself on the receiving end of a lawsuit. Make sure not to ignore any lawsuits filed against you and consult an attorney if you need representation.