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Help! I’m being sued.

Justice scale on blue backgroundThere’s a knock on your door. You open it and are handed a summons to court by a sheriff. You are being sued for the injury suffered to another. Now, you may have been expecting this. Maybe you knew of the incident that caused the injury. You saw the mail carrier tumble down your broken steps and break his leg and hip. Maybe this is something out of the clear blue sky. Maybe this happened while you were on a month long vacation and were oblivious. Whatever the case, you now have to handle this. Take a deep breath.

Your first step should be to obtain all the facts. The summons should give you the details. Gather what you have and head to a knowledgeable and experienced attorney. Your attorney will know just how to get information unavailable to you. If there is any medical information the attorney can get copies. Medical information is particularly sensitive, but essential to your case. You will need to know exactly what the injuries are and what they mean to the plaintiff. Will these injuries keep the plaintiff out for a relatively short time or are the injuries more serious and may possibly mean an extended recovery time or even the possibility of not being able to return to work? Any time already missed will need to be documented as well.

Hopefully, you have insurance that covers someone being injured at your residence. Your lawyer will be handling these details as well. It goes without saying that the plaintiff will be seeking a monetary award to pay for his or her expenses. Will your policy cover everything it needs to? What will you do if it doesn’t? Let’s say your policy will cover $500,000 towards the incident. The plaintiff suffered a severely broken hip and leg requiring several surgeries with the possibility of more. The plaintiff also will be unable to return to his or her previous position with the Post Office. They have offered a desk job, but the rate of pay is less that it was before.  Now you have to consider lost wages in the mix. This all gets very complicated and your attorney will walk you through it. Don’t panic.

Not every lawsuit ends with a judgment for the plaintiff. The plaintiff has to prove the defendant was negligent and caused the situation. In this case of the mailman falling down the stairs, it turns out that the mailman was trying to hurt himself so he could sit back and not work. A neighbor caught him damaging the step and falling from that damage on her cell phone and came forward to the homeowner with the evidence. Ruling for the defendant.