What to do When You Have Been Served with a Lawsuit
Everyone’s involvement with the legal system is different. Most people will have to deal with the occasional traffic ticket or car accident issue, but far fewer people must address things like contract disputes or construction lawsuits. In most situations, you only see a lawyer if you are doing one of two things: (1) planning for the future; or (2) dealing with a legal dispute.
Unfortunately, many legal disputes start “getting serious” only after someone starts the formal lawsuit process. In that case, you may have been served with legal papers that provide some information about a legal complaint someone has against you, whether they are divorce papers or based on a dispute with the neighbors.
We suggest doing the following after you have been served with a lawsuit.
Do Not Ignore the Deadlines in the Service Paperwork
After you get service, the worst thing you can do is ignore it. If you are unsure what it means, it is your obligation to ask—no one will explain it to you unless you take action.
You have a very limited amount of time to respond to a lawsuit. If you do not respond with the time allotted, you run the risk of having a default entered.
A “default” means that the plaintiff (the person filing the lawsuit) will get whatever they asked for in the case because you are not defending yourself. Reversing a default is difficult, so you must take action right away to protect your legal rights.
Start Looking for Attorneys to Help Right Away
Finding the right attorney to help with your situation takes time. If you have been served with a lawsuit, you should immediately start looking for an attorney to help with your case.
Keep in mind that the lawyer that did your will for you may not be the best option to help you defend a lawsuit. Lawyers often specialize in just a few areas of the law. Finding someone who has experience with the type of case you are dealing with is important.
Brown & Gould, PLLC are civil attorneys with a wide variety of experience with auto accidents, contract claims, family law issues, and more. Give us a call to see if we can help you after being served with a lawsuit.