The First 5 Steps To Take After You Are Sued

Daren Brown
By Daren Brown | March 21, 2019
The words, “You’ve been served,” can set off a volatile and expensive chain reaction.  These are words that no one wants to hear. They can leave you feeling like a deer caught in the headlights. It’s perfectly normal to be in shock. Unless you own a big corporation, or have a job that requires liability insurance; you don’t walk around every day expecting to get sued.  What you need to understand going forward is that time is of the essence. Strict deadlines have been applied to lawsuits in order to keep the process moving. The consequences for missing those deadlines are equally strict and severe. Acting quickly requires that you keep a level head, know what to do, and when to do it.  This article will help you get your affairs in order. We’ve put together a list of the first 5 steps you should take as soon as you are served with a lawsuit.

How Do I Resolve a Lawsuit?

Your first deadline comes up pretty quickly after you’re served. You are required to file a response with the court in a matter of days. Whatever you do; do not hit the panic button. A level head is your ally in this situation. Here’s what you should do and the order in which you should do these critical steps:

Step One: Review the parameters of the suit and gather all of your documentation.

Gather any and all:

  • Letters
  • Emails
  • Contracts
  • Bills
  • Photographs
  • Other documents

Basically, every document that is or might be relevant to the suit. Relevant means that they speak to the matter that’s at the heart of the suit. Make hard and electronic copies of all of these records. The reason this is your first step is that, just like the suit itself, evidence collection can be time-sensitive. Collect everything you need before you are barred from doing so.  

Step Two: Hire an attorney.

Interview attorneys who practice the area of law concerned in the suit. Bring all of your documents with you. Discuss the strength of your case, legal fees, and the strategy they would use in your defense. Once you’ve hired an attorney, hand over all of your documentation. This includes all current and future communication/mailings regarding the suit.

Step Three: Discuss a settlement or countersuit with your attorney.

These are two common steps to take before a suit goes to court. Remember, from this point forward, everything you discuss with your attorney is confidential. Do not discuss the details of the case with anyone else.

Step Four: Stay in contact with your attorney.

Even if your suit goes to court; be prepared and trust your attorney at all times.

Step Five: Keep the playing field level.

Attorneys do not like surprises. Withholding information only hurts your case. Even if you’re worried it will make you look bad; tell your attorney everything.

Let Stockard, Johnston, Brown & Netardus, P.C. in Amarillo, Texas guide you through the process and see you safely to the other side.

SJB Law Firm
photo credit: Smiley Man with a Hat via photopin cc

Topics: Law