CLAIM/SUIT - NOW WHAT?

Myth or Fact: If I ignore it, it will go away.

MYTH: Ignoring a claim or legal documents will only make matters worse. If you ignore a lawsuit, the Court WILL find AGAINST YOU.

You have received a Notice of Claim or have been served with a lawsuit. Now what? What do you do first? Do you need an attorney? What if you don't have insurance? Can they do anything if they can't find you? Does this mean you lose your professional license and your home? Who are all of these people involved and how do you make sense of this maze?

  1. Don't panic! The person bringing the claim or suit can allege anything they want; the burden of proof is on THEM, not you.
  2. Notify your insurance carrier immediately.
  3. If you have been sued, hire an attorney. Your insurance carrier will do this for you if you have coverage.
  4. Cooperate fully.
  5. Do not admit you did anything wrong, even if you did (unless your attorney tells you otherwise).
  6. Accept the facts. Swallow your pride and accept you are human.
  7. Take good care of yourself. This means eating right and getting enough rest.
  8. Get emotional support. If you need to talk with someone, there are ways to protect what you say from being disclosed. Going through a lawsuit can be life altering, and humiliating if you let it.
  9. Understand who all of the parties are and what their roles are.