What To Do If You Have Been Served With A Lawsuit Or Sued | Attorneys for Freedom Law Firm

What To Do If You Have Been Served With A Lawsuit Or Sued

Civil Law

Being sued can be frustrating and confusing. Generally, you have 20 days to file a response to a Complaint once you are served with a lawsuit. If you do not appear and defend yourself, you may run the risk of having a default judgment entered against you. Here are some tips as to what to do if you have been named as a defendant.

1. Contact applicable insurance carriers. If you are sued for a car accident, you should immediately contact your automobile insurance carrier. If you are sued for something that happened in your home or for some personal injury you are alleged to have caused, you should reach out to your homeowner’s insurance carrier or any personal liability carrier to determine if there is coverage. If you are sued for a breach of contract, it is probably unlikely there is insurance coverage unless you purchased a policy to cover such a claim. If there is coverage, your insurance carrier should provide coverage and retain an attorney to represent and defend you in the lawsuit. There are times when it is unclear if there is coverage. When that happens, a carrier may send a “reservation of rights” letter to you, which informs you that there may be a question about coverage. You can always contact an attorney of your choice if you have questions as to whether insurance may apply or questions as to communications with your insurance carrier.

2. If you do not have insurance or if you are denied coverage, you should immediately contact an attorney to discuss your rights, defenses, and options that may be available to you.

3. What happens if you try to avoid being served? If you are not personally served or agree to waive service, the person suing you can request the Court authorize an alternative form of service, such as publication in a newspaper and/or posting the documents on your door. Many times, people are unaware that they were served through publication because they don’t usually look at the particular newspaper or area of the newspaper where the service was published. Once service is completed through an authorized method of service, the person suing you can seek a default if you do not timely file a response with the Court even if you did not actual knowledge know you were served.

4. Once you are served with a lawsuit, you generally have 20 days to file a response in Court. If you do not file a response, the suing party can seek a default judgment against you. A default is a two-step process: First, the suing party must file an application for default, which gives you 10 days to respond. If you don’t respond within the 10 days, you cannot contest liability and the suing party can then request the Court for a default judgment.

5. There are two main ways to respond to a complaint. One is to file an answer, which provides a response to the allegations in the complaint. The second is to file a motion to have the case dismissed for certain specified reasons. If an answer is filed or if a motion to dismiss is denied, the case will proceed through litigation. Applicable court rules and any court orders will set forth various deadlines and activities that must be completed within certain timelines.

6. If the suing party obtains a judgment, he/she can then seek to collect the judgment, which can subject you to garnishment of wages, bank accounts, and other assets. In addition, a judgment can be recorded with the county recorder’s office, which then operates as a lien against any real property you own.

Given the risk associated with having a judgment against you, you should contact an attorney to discuss your rights, defenses, and options to determine the best course for you.

Phillip J.
Phillip J.
14:30 18 Jan 22
Upfront pricing & transparency throughout. Got my case completely dismissed and I’m now able to... move forward with a clean slate. Thank you Marc and Emma and the entire team attorneys for freedomread more
Jared B.
Jared B.
19:48 15 Jan 22
5 stars just isnt enough for Andrew Marcantel, Marc Victor, and the entire staff here.When my... boyfriend was wrongly accused of a totally vile crime, neither of us had any experience navigating the "just-us" system.If you've faced potentially life-altering accusations, and you feel like the system is set up to empower police, prosecutors, judges, and pretty much everyone except you, then you're right! If you want to level the playing feild, Attorneys for Freedom will accomplish that.Some others have commented about the price. Good representation does cost money, unfortunately. What is a persons future worth?Compared to the competition, which is also expensive, the value you will get at this law firm is just unbelievable. Andrew especially is so great at walking you through possible scenerios, guiding you through important decisions, and has the experience to truly get good results. Extremely knowledgeable and creative not just "aggressive". He is also an excellent communicator, both in the office and in the court.Speaking of communication, the paralegal team at even some more expensive law firms will leave you wondering what it is they are paid to do. This is not the case at Attorneys for Freedom. Ashley Crispino and Kaylie Kline did an amazing job at both keeping us in the loop and being available when needed.Reading "Case Dismissed" after what felt like an eternity of fighting was the best outcome we could have ever asked for.I told my Aunt who was very worried about us at the height of all the absurdity that I felt like having Andy on our side was better than prayer. And I was right.read more
Nicholas K.
Nicholas K.
01:07 17 Dec 21
Bad review was due to unfortunate mistake in contact info. Mr. Harris made contact, fixed my file,... and set up the next steps for my request.read more
Daddy D.
Daddy D.
17:44 14 Dec 21
Helped me out with all my attorney needs. Out of state help!
Kira L.
Kira L.
22:12 02 Dec 21
This is my first time ever needing an attorney and my attorney was Kate and she did an amazing job... with my case! Kate took time to go through all of the evidence so she understood everything before going to court. Kate assistant Madalyn was also super helpful and very sweet! Anytime I called she was very understanding and helped me walk through the process when I did not understand something and always had an upbeat positive attitude! If I ever need an attorney again I will definitely being going back to Kate!read more
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