What to Do If You Get Sued

gavel on money

The chances are high that you will get right the way through to the end of your life without being sued. The chances are high, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for you to be sued. Whether it’s from an ex-spouse or an ex-employer, you can be sued by pretty much anybody if you have (in their eyes) wronged them.

If you are a business owner and you have wronged one of your employees, they could sue you for damages. If you don’t maintain the order of the court after a messy divorce, you could be sued for a breach. There are many reasons that a person can be sued, but what should you do if it happens to you?

Most people who go through the process of being sued and going to court often find it to be embarrassing, and it could be emotionally and physically exhausting. For some, it can be difficult to recover from, especially when your confidence is concerned.

The system may say innocent until proven guilty, but if you are being sued under the false claims act, then you need to make sure that you have the right team on your side to get you through it. You want to be sure that you can come through the other side of being sued in one piece, and here are the things that you should remember if you ever are sued.

  • Don’t panic. If you’ve been served with papers to say that you have been sued, the natural reaction is to feel anxious and panic. Unless you have nerves of steel, or you’re facing a very small and insignificant lawsuit, the chances are you will panic too much. Everybody immediately imagines that they are going to go to jail. If you have been served don’t panic, because lawsuits are inherently slow. You don’t have to worry about instant prison time or having your wages garnished for life for unpaid money, but you do need to act quickly and get some legal advice. The legal system is designed in the way that claims are sifted through in an orderly fashion. Just because somebody served you with papers, doesn’t mean you’re going to be dragged by the collar in front of a judge. So don’t panic, but don’t ignore the summons, either.
  • Feel confident. Just because you are being sued doesn’t mean you’re going to lose the fight. So here is where you would consider finding a lawyer. Even small claims court can be daunting if you’ve never had to face this before. If you have a lawyer by your side, you should be able to get the advice you need to be able to feel confident that you can get through this case. Even if you’re going to lose, someone’s not going to take your house from you. There is a system and the system is in place for a reason.
  • Don’t contact the person suing you. Any lawyer worth their fee will tell you to stay away from the person that has served papers. The lawyer is the one who will do the work on your behalf.
  • Get to know the law. If you do decide to go solo with your court case, the best thing that you can do is read up on the law surrounding your situation. Information is out there for free, and your library should have all the information that you need. A judge can get very frustrated when the person defending themselves doesn’t know the law and argues the case based on opinions and personal beliefs. In a courtroom, the law is what matters.
  • Remember, it’s about the story. When you’re talking to a judge and defending yourself, it’s not always about who is right and who is wrong. Your job is to explain it to the judge in a cogent way. You have your time to say from beginning to end what happened and that should be your goal in court. If you have evidence, like emails or photos that can support your story that’s even better. The good news is that most civil cases won’t go to court, and there will be no jury standing in there just deciding your fate. Often when people hear the word court they imagine people in fancy robes and wigs and a full jury, which is not often the case when you get sued.

Being sued doesn’t have to be scary, so get the right advice and make sure it isn’t!

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