Business disputes are inevitable – and not every dispute can be resolved outside of the courtroom.
Here’s what you need to know if you’ve been served with a lawsuit in Philadelphia:
Call your lawyer.
This is the first step you should take once you’re served with a lawsuit. Speak with your lawyer before you attempt to contact parties or witnesses, solicit advice from any non-lawyers, or respond to the legal action pro se.
While it’s tempting to share your side of the story, refrain from discussing the issue with anyone other than your lawyer. Do not speak with the opposing party under any circumstances, and do not provide a recorded statement without your attorney’s consent.
Notify your insurance broker.
Contact your insurance broker as soon as possible. Be prepared to provide a copy of the lawsuit, details regarding the incident, as well as a statement explaining your position.
Ask your broker to confirm in writing whether you have insurance coverage for the lawsuit. If so, your broker will likely set up a claim and assign the matter to a representative. Obtain the claims representative’s contact information as you will need to provide this information to your attorney.
From the moment your business is served with a lawsuit, there are serious time constraints you face.
In Philadelphia, you only have 30 days to gather facts and evidence in support of your defense, retain an attorney, and respond to the plaintiff’s complaint. The laws may differ in other states.
Failure to file an answer to the lawsuit within the time allotted by law can lead to a default judgment against your business. And a default judgment can award the plaintiff full damages sought in the complaint, and force you to make payments to satisfy the judgment promptly.
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Our Pennsylvania office is conveniently located in Upper Darby, minutes from Center City Philadelphia and one block away from the SEPTA station on Market Street. Request a consultation online or give us a call at 610.734.0750.