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Northwest OH Legal Blog

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I've been named in a lawsuit. Now what?

When someone receives an envelope from a court continuing paperwork advising that they have been named in a lawsuit, the usual first reaction is one of panic.  That initial reaction is understandable – most people are unfamiliar with how courts operate, and they would rather not be involved in litigation.  Fortunately, an experienced attorney can help you navigate through the process.

An attorney can review the documents you received and determine whether the party initiating the lawsuit (called the plaintiff) has asserted claims against you, or whether you have been made part of the proceeding in another capacity.  The attorney can also help you determine if any claims against you are covered by insurance, and he or she can help you make a claim with your insurer.  If an insurance policy is applicable, the insurance company should appoint a lawyer to represent you in the lawsuit at the insurer’s expense.  There are time limits and other requirements that must be met to obtain the benefits an insurance policy provides, so it is important to contact an attorney to look into these matters at the beginning of a lawsuit.

Perhaps the most-important thing to remember when you believe you have been named in a lawsuit is that time is not on your side.  There are deadlines that must be met for a variety of actions, and, for example, if you fail to respond to the lawsuit in the applicable time limit, a judgment may be granted against you.  As time passes and events occur in the lawsuit without your involvement, it becomes increasingly difficult for any attorney who later becomes involved on your behalf to safeguard your interests.  It is therefore critical to contact an attorney as soon as you receive paperwork indicating that you have become involved in a legal process.  


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With offices in Toledo and Lima, OH Allotta Farley Co., L.P.A. serves clients throughout northwest OH with various legal matters. Areas of service include Allen County, Ashland County, Auglaize County, Crawford County, Defiance County, Erie County, Fulton County, Hancock County, Hardin County, Henry County, Huron County, Lucas County, Marion County, Mercer County, Morrow County, Ottawa County, Paulding County, Putnam County, Richland County, Sandusky County, Seneca County, Van Wert County, Williams County, Wood County, Wyandot County.

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