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.

Mont B.
Mont B.
20:45 28 Jun 22
I really appreciate the teamwork culture of the firm. I worked with Caroline in the Honolulu... office. Caroline was extremely professional and went above and beyond working on short notice and working on the weekend. She worked really hard to obtain the best outcome for me. Thank you!read more
Diana V.
Diana V.
00:43 12 Jun 22
I am grateful beyond belief for the incredible team that helped me. Jody Broaddus, thank you for... everything you and your team did for me. I appreciate you from the bottom of my heart.I haven’t been able to Breath right and my life has been rough. I’m still trying to recover and I know it will take a while but because of God putting the right lawyer and team in front of it all, I now have a light at the end of the tunnel. I thank you for the kind words and dedication you put forward.Thank you and God bless youread more
Hardeep K.
Hardeep K.
16:50 27 May 22
Jason D.
Jason D.
20:29 29 Apr 22
Attorneys for freedom was a 10/10 on handling my case, i had the pleasure of speaking directly to... the attorney and staff. Everybody was professional and helped me every step of the way giving these issues that create havoc and frustration in your personal life.Rachel Moss, was exceptional in going above and beyond what was necessary to get the results we were going for and we accomplished what we sout out for. Her communication and understanding of the law and policies led us to a great victory that we fought for from the beginning.Thank you to the entire staff for everythingI do appreciate your hard work, i definately could not have got the results we achieved on my own.read more
Spiritual T.
Spiritual T.
19:01 13 Apr 22
I had a hiccup with this company and I have to say I’ve never seen a faster turn around on fixing... the issue. John Harris went above and beyond my expectations on getting this resolved and I am thankful for his fast and prompt acts and the awesome service. Thank you John.read more
js_loader