Top 10 Things to Do When Being Sued
Avoid Costly Mistakes with These Ten Lawsuit Facts
The threat of a lawsuit
, or the prospect of litigation, sends most people into an emotional state somewhere between panic and outrage, especially if that person hasn’t protected their assets
ahead of time. Running a business or getting through the daily routines of personal life can be overwhelming without the added stress of a process server, marshal or sheriff coming to your home or office with a summons and complaint.
Most people have never been involved in a lawsuit, so seeing your name or the name of your business in the caption followed by the word “DEFENDANT” can be unsettling. There are ten things you should know about lawsuits that will help you make the right decisions once the process server leaves.
1. It will not go away on its own. Lawsuits must be taken seriously.
2. That ticking sound is a clock.
The defendant in a lawsuit must file a formal answer or make a motion within a limited period of time that is set by the laws in each jurisdiction. Getting angry and tossing the lawsuit papers into a corner in your home or office to be dealt with later is a mistake. Some states limit the time to submit an answer to just 20 days or less from the date the defendant is served.
3. I can do this without a lawyer.
4. Choose a lawyer you can depend upon.
If you are using an attorney for the first time, make certain your lawyer is familiar with the issues raised in the lawsuit. Attorney’s today are as specialized as doctors; one does not go to a brain surgeon to fix a broken leg. Ask the lawyer how many lawsuits like yours he has taken to verdict. Lawyers who settle most of the cases they handle might be good negotiators, but you also want to know that the attorney you choose can handle a trial if one is necessary.
5. Be honest with your lawyer.
The second worst mistake you can make is to attempt to defend a lawsuit without having legal representation. The worst mistake is having an attorney but failing to disclose all the facts in an honest and forthright manner. The lawyer you hire is on your side regardless of how good or how bad the facts and the evidence make you look. Lying to your lawyer, or withholding information because it portrays you in a bad light, will make it difficult for your lawyer to represent you and often times you are doing yourself a disservice because when that information you are hiding comes out in court, your lawyer will be caught off guard with no strong, well-thought out response.
6. Don’t ignore insurance options.
7. Listen to the expert you hired.
8. Fighting over principle can get expensive and distracting.
9. Don’t assume your legal expenses will be paid by your opponent.
10. Expect to be in it for the long haul.
Bonus Tip: When You are Being Sued
Learn about the “latest inside secrets to wealth-building, tax-saving tips and strategies” for your secure financial roadmap…PLUS you’ll receive a FREE downloadable eBook on precisely how the Ultra Trust® – the Irrevocable Trust Asset Protection program developed by our Expert Estate Planner – can save you thousands of dollars of legal fees and hundreds of hours of time by avoiding lawsuits; legal loophole to reduce your taxes; secure your privacy, preserve your money, and protect your assets.