In the United States, more than 1.3 million civil lawsuits are filed each year. If you are unlucky enough to be the victim of a lawsuit, here are six things you should do to protect yourself and your assets.
1) Understand the nature of the trial.
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 defend yourself effectively. Before you hire a federal criminal lawyer, take the time to read the complaint and any other documents that have been filed in the case. For example, if you are being sued for breach of contract, you will need to review the contract in question to see what your obligations are.
Additionally, you should be aware of the statute of limitations of the case. This is the time the plaintiff has to file a lawsuit. If the statute of limitations has expired, the plaintiff cannot 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 invoke the statute of limitations as an affirmative defense. This means that you will need to prove that the statute of limitations has expired for the case to be dismissed.
2) Don’t ignore the trial.
It’s tempting to ignore a trial, especially if you think it’s without merit. However, this is a huge mistake. If you ignore a lawsuit, the court will issue a default judgment against you. This means that the plaintiff will automatically win the case and you will be responsible for any damages awarded.
Even if you think the lawsuit is frivolous, you should take it seriously and respond accordingly. For example, if you are being sued for breach of contract, you will need to hire an experienced business attorney to help you draft a response. Likewise, if you are sued for bodily injury, you will need to hire a personal injury attorney.
Also remember that you only have a limited time to respond to a lawsuit. If you do not respond within the time limit, you will automatically lose the case. For example, in most states you only have 30 days to respond to a summons and complaint.
3) Not admitting fault.
Even if you believe you are 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, be sure to do so through your own attorney.
For example, if you are being sued for breach of contract, do not send the plaintiff a check for the amount he is claiming. This will be seen as an admission of liability and could cost you more in the long run.
Also, do not 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 evidence relevant to the case, keep 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 are sued for breach of contract, you will need to retain any email correspondence or other documents relevant to the case. If you are sued for bodily injury, you will need to keep any medical records or other evidence relevant to the case.
Another example is if you have security footage of the incident in question. If you have this video, do not delete it. Instead, be sure to keep it so your attorney can review it. After preserving the evidence, do not discuss it with anyone other than your lawyer.
5) Hire an experienced lawyer.
This is one of the most important steps you can take after being served with a lawsuit. A experienced lawyer will be able to defend you against the claims made in the lawsuit. They will also be able to negotiate on your behalf and help you reach a settlement.
For example, if you are being sued for breach of contract, you will need to hire an experienced business attorney. Likewise, if you are sued for bodily injury, you will 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 around who can help you through it.
6) Keep calm and think long term.
It’s easy to panic when you’re handed a lawsuit. However, it is important to stay calm and think long term. This means taking the time to weigh your options and making 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 if it’s worth fighting the case or if you just have to settle. If you are sued for bodily injury, you need to decide whether you want to go to trial or whether you want to settle.
Whatever decision you make, it’s important to think about how it will affect you in the long run. Keep in mind that a trial is not a short-term process. This can take months or even years to resolve.
Suing someone or being sued is never an easy situation. But if you take the time to educate yourself about the process and hire an experienced attorney, you’ll be in a much better position to defend yourself. The key 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 may be your best bet in this situation. So don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it.