If you’ve been sued there’s a pretty good chance you are freaking out just a tad. Our Managing Partner Don Eby says your nerves are understandable, but he wants you to take a deep breath. In this article, Don is going to tell you step-by-step what you should do first if you’ve been sued.
One of the first things you’ll want to look at is what proof the other party has to substantiate their lawsuit. Keep scrolling for important next steps if you’ve been sued.
Lawsuit Defense if You’ve Been Sued
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Most people in the United States will never be part of a lawsuit. In fact, most Americans will never see the inside of a courtroom except on TV.
So if you are suddenly faced with a lawsuit it might knock you for a loop. That’s ok. Take a deep breath. Just because you’ve been served with a legal complaint does not mean that the legal complaint is true or that you will lose a lawsuit.
Not All Lawsuits are Winners
First, the lawsuit will be brought to the judge. The judge will evaluate the case and use a logical standard and proof to determine whether the complaint has merit.
People file lawsuits all the time, but that doesn’t mean their case has any substance. Cases do not win just because they’re filed in court.
Remember, you very well may win against this complaint.
First: Evaluate the Complaint
The first thing you need to do is evaluate the complaint. Closely read the specific claims that are alleged. Think about those claims from a proof perspective.
What proof may the opposing party be able to bring to the court by the way of documents or witnesses that might prove their case?
Or, even better, what proof could you bring to the court to show their claims are false and unjustified?
Second: Your Response is Very Important
Once you’ve reviewed and evaluated the case, think about your response. You only have a specific length of time to respond.
This is your opportunity to make any counterclaims or to dispute the specific claims of the case on an item by item basis.
Cases are won and lost in the answer to the complaint. So your response to the claim is not the place you want to make mistakes.
Remember the response is a critical step of the process. It must be done in a proper and timely manner.
If you’re unsure what to do or how to do it, contact an attorney at Robinson and Henry to get some help.
Third: Consider Hiring an Attorney to Save You Money
We know what you’re thinking here: how can I save money when I’m spending it on an attorney? Well, a counterclaim against the people suing you could potentially have your attorney fees paid on your behalf depending upon the type of claim.
An experienced attorney can also ensure that you respond in a timely matter defining your case on a factual basis for which you have proof or witnesses.
Fourth: Do Not Let Emotions Take Over
It’s easy to feel you’ve been wronged if you’ve been sued. We completely understand that, but it’s important to do what you can to brush aside those feelings and focus on the facts of the case.