In the United States, there are more than 1.3 million civil lawsuits filed every year. If you’re unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of a lawsuit, here are six things you need to do to protect yourself and your assets.
1) Understand the nature of the lawsuit.
This is the first and most important step. You need to understand what the lawsuit is alleging and what the potential consequences are. If you don’t understand the lawsuit, you can’t effectively defend yourself. Before you hire a federal criminal attorney, take some time to read the complaint and any other documents that have been filed in the case. For example, if you’re being sued for breach of contract, you’ll need to review the contract in question to see what your obligations are.
Additionally, you need to be aware of the statute of limitations for the case. This is the amount of time the plaintiff has to file a lawsuit. If the statute of limitations has expired, the plaintiff can’t sue you.
Keep in mind that even if the statute of limitations has expired, the plaintiff can still try to file a lawsuit. If this happens, you can raise the statute of limitations as an affirmative defense. This means that you’ll need to prove that the statute of limitations has expired in order to get the case dismissed.
2) Don’t ignore the lawsuit.
It’s tempting to ignore a lawsuit, especially if you believe it’s meritless. However, this is a huge mistake. If you ignore a lawsuit, the court will enter a default judgment against you. This means that the plaintiff will automatically win the case, and you’ll be on the hook for whatever damages are awarded.
Even if you believe the lawsuit is frivolous, you need to take it seriously and respond accordingly. For example, if you’re being sued for breach of contract, you’ll need to hire an experienced business attorney to help you draft a response. Similarly, if you’re being sued for personal injury, you’ll need to hire a personal injury attorney.
Also, don’t forget that you only have a limited amount of time to respond to a lawsuit. If you don’t respond within the allotted time frame, you’ll automatically lose the case. For example, in most states, you only have 30 days to respond to a summons and complaint.
3) Don’t admit fault.
Even if you believe you’re at fault, don’t say anything that could be construed as an admission of liability. Anything you say can and will be used against you in court. If you want to discuss the case with the plaintiff or their attorney, make sure you do it through your own attorney.
For example, if you’re being sued for breach of contract, don’t send the plaintiff a check for the amount of money they’re demanding. This will be viewed as an admission of liability, and it could end up costing you more in the long run.
Also, don’t post anything about the case on social media. Anything you say on social media can be used as evidence against you.
4) Preserve evidence.
If you have any evidence that’s relevant to the case, preserve it as soon as possible. This includes physical evidence, such as products or documents, and digital evidence, such as emails or social media posts.
For example, if you’re being sued for breach of contract, you’ll need to preserve any email correspondence or other documentation that’s relevant to the case. If you’re being sued for personal injury, you’ll need to preserve any medical records or other evidence that’s relevant to the case.
Another example is if you have security footage of the incident in question. If you have this footage, don’t delete it. Instead, make sure to preserve it so that your attorney can review it. After you preserve the evidence, don’t discuss it with anyone except for your attorney.
5) Hire an experienced attorney.
This is one of the most important steps you can take after being served with a lawsuit. An experienced attorney will know how to defend you against the claims made in the lawsuit. They’ll also be able to negotiate on your behalf and help you reach a settlement.
For example, if you’re being sued for breach of contract, you’ll need to hire an experienced business attorney. Similarly, if you’re being sued for personal injury, you’ll need to hire a personal injury attorney.
In addition to helping you with the legal aspects of the case, an experienced attorney will also be able to provide you with emotional support. Going through a lawsuit can be a very stressful experience, and it’s important to have someone in your corner who can help you through it.
6) Stay calm and think long-term.
It’s easy to panic when you’re served with a lawsuit. However, it’s important to stay calm and think about the long-term. This means that you need to take the time to assess your options and make sure you’re making the best decisions for your future.
For example, if you’re being sued for breach of contract, you need to decide whether it’s worth it to fight the case or if you should just settle. If you’re being sued for personal injury, you need to decide whether you want to go to trial or if you want to settle out of court.
No matter what decision you make, it’s important to think about how it will affect you in the long term. Keep in mind that a lawsuit is not a short-term process. It can take months or even years to resolve.
Suing someone or getting sued is never an easy situation. But if you take the time to educate yourself on the process and hire an experienced attorney, you’ll be in a much better position to defend yourself. The bottom line is to stay calm and think long-term. With the right approach, you can get through this stressful time. Keep in mind that an experienced attorney can be your best asset in this situation. So, don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you need it.