What Should I do if Sued for Negligence?

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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 03 February 2020
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Being sued for negligence can be serious, so you do not want to neglect the matter. Promptly read through the lawsuit. Then consider if there are any insurance policies that may provide coverage in the event that it is needed. Avoid discussing any details about the case with the plaintiff or his attorney. Also avoid trying to handle the case on your own. Consult with an experienced attorney.

If you are sued for negligence, one of the first things that you should do is to carefully read through the lawsuit. Do not assume that you know what the plaintiff alleges that you have done. You need the specifics.

Once you have read through the lawsuit, determine if there is any type of insurance that may provide coverage in the event that the plaintiff has a successful case. For example, if you are being sued for an incident that occurred at your residence, you may be able to rely on your home owner's insurance. You should obtain and review a copy of any policy that you believe may offer you coverage. Then you should contact the insurance company, let them know you are being sued for negligence, and be prepared to submit a copy of the lawsuit.


Negligence cases are often difficult to win. The plaintiff bears the burden of proving the allegations lodged against you. You want to be prepared with a strong defense, however. To help your case, gather any evidence that you think may help you. Also compile a list of possible witnesses who may be able to testify on your behalf.

Avoid discussing any details with the plaintiff or his lawyer. Do not allow yourself to be baited into arguments about the alleged events, especially in the presence of witnesses or in any form that can be presented in court. Also avoid trying to make things better by apologizing. Instead of resolving the dispute, all of these actions could jeopardize the strength of your defense.

If you are successfully sued for negligence, your life could be affected in a variety of ways. The plaintiff could be awarded substantial amounts of money, and your professional reputation and prospects could be damaged. These reasons should be enough to prompt you to contact an attorney. It is not advisable for you to attempt to proceed through a negligence case on your own unless you have legal experience. Make sure the lawyer whom you consider has a significant amount of experience dealing with cases where people are being sued for negligence of the type outlined in the lawsuit against you.


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