In the United States, there are more than 1.3 million civil suits filed annually. If you are unlucky enough to receive 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 vital step. You need to understand what the lawsuit alleges and what the potential consequences will be. If you do not understand the lawsuit, you cannot defend yourself effectively. Before you hire a federal criminal lawyer, take the time to read the complaint and other documents that have been filed in the case. For example, if you’re being sued for breach of contract, you should review the contract in question to determine your obligations.
In addition, you need to know the statute of limitations for the case. This is the amount of time the plaintiff has to file suit. If the statute of limitations has expired, the plaintiff cannot sue you.
Keep in mind that even if the statute of limitations has expired, plaintiffs can still try to bring suit. If this happens, you can submit a statute of limitations as an affirmative defense. This means that you must prove that the statute of limitations has expired in order for the case to be dropped.
2) Don’t ignore the lawsuit.
It’s so tempting to disregard a lawsuit, particularly if you believe it’s inappropriate. However, this is a big mistake. If you ignore lawsuits, the court will default on you. This means that the plaintiff will automatically win their case, and you’ll incur any damages awarded.
Even if you believe the lawsuit is frivolous, you should take it seriously and respond accordingly. For example, if you’re being sued for breach of contract, you should hire an experienced business lawyer to help you prepare your response. Likewise, if you’re being sued for private injury, you should hire a personal injury lawyer.
Also, do not forget that you only have a limited amount of time to respond to a lawsuit. If you don’t respond within the required timeframe, you’ll lose the case automatically. For example, in most states, you only have 30 days to respond to calls and complaints.
3) Don’t admit mistakes.
Even if you believe you are guilty, do not say anything that could be considered an admission of responsibility. Anything you say can and will be used against you in court. If you wish to discuss the case with the plaintiff or their lawyer, ensure you do so through your own lawyer.
For example, if you’re being sued for breach of contract, don’t send the plaintiff a check for the amount they’re demanding. This will be seen as an admission of responsibility, and will end up costing you in the long run.
Also, do not post anything about this case on social media. Anything you say on social media can be used as evidence against you.
4) Save 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’re sued for breach of contract, you must retain e-mail correspondence or other documentation relevant to the case. If you are sued for private injury, you must retain medical records or other evidence relevant to the case.
Another example is if you have security footage of the incident. If you own this recording, do not delete it. Instead, make sure to save it for your lawyer to review. Once you have evidence, do not discuss it with anyone but your lawyer.
5) Hire an experienced lawyer.
This is among the most vital steps you can take after accepting a lawsuit. A experienced lawyer will understand how to defend you against claims made in a tort. They can even negotiate on your behalf and help you reach an agreement.
For example, if you’re being sued for breach of contract, you should hire an experienced business lawyer. Likewise, if you’re being sued for private injury, you should hire a personal injury lawyer.
As well as helping you with the legal aspects of the case, an experienced lawyer will also have the ability to provide you with emotional support. Going through a lawsuit can be a really stressful experience, and it is important to have someone in your corner who can help you through it.
6) Keep calm and think long term.
It’s easy to panic when you are faced with a lawsuit. However, it is important to stay calm and think long term. This means you need to take the time to assess your options and ensure you are making the best decision for your future.
For example, if you’re being sued for breach of contract, you’ll need to decide whether it is suitable to fight the case or whether you should settle it. If you are being sued for private injury, you’ll need to decide whether you want to go to court or if you want to settle out of court.
Whatever decision you make, it is important to consider how it will affect you in the long run. Keep in mind that a lawsuit is not a short-term process. It can take months or even years to complete.
Suing someone or being sued is not a simple situation. But if you take the time to educate yourself about the process and hire an experienced lawyer, you will be in a far better position to defend yourself. The point is to stay calm and think long term. With the right approach, you can get through this stressful period. Keep in mind that an experienced lawyer can be your best asset in this situation. So, do not hesitate to ask for help if you need it.