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What to do if You Get Sued

What to do if You Get Sued: Steps to Take

by Ragini Salampure

Did you know that 37% of lawsuits are small debt collections?

Although not all lawsuits will have a significant impact on your life, it’s scary to have someone serve you with a lawsuit. If you have ever been in this position or know someone, you must learn about the steps to take if this happens.

Read on to learn what to do if you ever get sued.

Review the Deadline

When you get sued, the first thing you need to do is respond to the lawsuit. For the most part, most lawsuit deadlines will give you about 20 days to respond to the suit and file a response with the appropriate court. 

However, because some deadlines vary, you should review the notice carefully to ensure you don’t miss the deadline.

This will give you enough time to decide how you want to handle the lawsuit. 

What Are Your Options

Once you know the deadline of the lawsuit, you can decide what your options are and how you hope to handle the suit. 

For example, if a creditor sues you over an unpaid debt, you can negotiate with them to resolve the issue. When this happens, most people’s first instinct is to protect assets, but this step might not be necessary in every case.

When you disagree with the lawsuit, you can start by filing your answer with the court. Filing an answer to the complaint will allow you to respond to the plaintiff’s allegations about you. 

Filing an answer also tells the court and the plaintiff that you intend to defend yourself.

If you have a reason to believe the court doesn’t have jurisdiction over you, the plaintiff didn’t serve you properly, or the plaintiff doesn’t have a legal claim, you can file a motion to dismiss. 

You also have the opportunity to sue the plaintiff and file a counterclaim against them. Some people decide to do nothing, and the court typically grants a default judgment favoring the plaintiff.

File Your Response

If you decide to prepare a response to the lawsuit, the next step is to file it with the court.

Although most courts allow you to file electronically, you will need to file it in person in most cases. You must bring the filing fee, the original response, and two copies to file the response with the court. 

Provide the Necessary Copies to the Plaintiff

After you file your response with the court, it’s essential you provide the plaintiff a copy of the response. You can give a copy to the plaintiff in one of a few ways. If they have an attorney, you should send it to them directly.

Most people either mail it in or hand-deliver a copy. 

This is What to Do When You Get Sued

Now that you know about what steps to take if you get sued, you’re ready to take control of the situation.

Remember, in the event of a lawsuit; you should check for a deadline to respond, decide if you want to take action, file your response with the court and notify the plaintiff.

If you enjoyed these legal tips and would like to learn more, check out the rest of our blog.

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