Defending a Lawsuit
If you have just been sued, it is important to take immediate action to protect your rights and interests. Here are 7 things you need to know:
1. Take the lawsuit seriously. If you have been sued, it is important to take the matter seriously and not ignore it. Failing to respond to a lawsuit can result in a default judgment being entered against you. That means that the person who filed the lawsuit can automatically win the case without you having a chance to defend yourself.
2. Review the papers carefully. If you have been served with a lawsuit, you will receive papers (the complaint) with a summons that explain the nature of the lawsuit and what you are being sued for. It is important to carefully review these papers and make sure you understand the allegations against you.
3. Consider hiring an attorney. Depending on the complexity of the case and the potential consequences of a judgment against you, it may be a good idea to hire an attorney to represent you in the lawsuit. An attorney can help you understand your legal options and defend your rights. If your business has been sued, Ohio law requires that you hire an attorney. Contact us directly at (888)200-9824.
4. Respond to the lawsuit. In most cases, you will need to respond to the lawsuit by a certain deadline, which is usually set out in the papers you received. This is usually done by filing a written response, called an "answer," with the court. In your answer, you can admit or deny the allegations against you and raise any defenses you may have. You are also obligated to file any counterclaims you have against the Plaintiff or they may be waived forever. That is done in a counterclaim.
5. Gather evidence. If you are being sued, you will need to gather evidence to support your defense. This may include documents, photographs, witness statements, and other types of evidence that can help show that the allegations against you are not true or that you are not liable for the damages claimed. Presenting this evidence requires you to review the Ohio Rules of Evidence.
6. Attend court hearings. If the case goes to trial, you will need to attend court hearings and possibly testify in court. It is important to be prepared for these hearings and to follow any instructions given by the judge or your attorney. Keep in mind that the deadlines given by the court will not matter if judgment is taken against you before those dates come.
7. Be aware of deadlines. In a lawsuit, there are often many deadlines that you will need to meet, such as the deadline for filing an answer to the complaint or for producing documents to the other side. It is important to be aware of these deadlines and to meet them in a timely manner to avoid any negative consequences.
If you or your company has been sued in Ohio, give us a call directly at (888) 200-9824.