A lawsuit begins when a complaint is filed in a court. By law, you or your business is entitled to receive a copy of that complaint, or the petition, and a court summons notifying you of the case. If you have not been provided a copy of the summons and the complaint, the case may not be allowed to proceed.
The second thing to know regarding a lawsuit is that you will have time to respond if your business has been sued. Typically, you have around three weeks to respond after you’ve been served. After service, you should read the complaint as soon as possible and contact an attorney. The attorney can provide guidance on the options available to you and help you put together a plan for responding.
In some cases, there may be a good legal reason why the case should be dismissed. For example, the lawsuit may have been filed in a place where you do not reside and where you don’t do any business. Or the allegations in the complaint may not even state a claim.
An attorney can also help you settle a case before the lawsuit moves forward. Lawsuits can be expensive – often costing thousands of dollars. Sometimes, it’s in everyone’s interests to resolve the case early so you can avoid unnecessary litigation expenses.
Finally, it’s very important that you respond to the lawsuit. If you do not respond, a default judgment may be entered against you. It can prove costly to reverse default judgments and the default judgment can be enforced against you or your business – just like a normal judgment.