Beware of the Counterclaim

Filing a lawsuit is not just as simple as serving a complaint on the at fault party and there are many things that need to be anticipated from the start.  The party sued, also known as the “Defendant”, must file an Answer to your suit.  In some instances, especially when liability is at issues, the Defendant’s Answer can contain a counterclaim.  A counterclaim is an independent cause of action by the Defendant against you, the Plaintiff.  It should not be taken lightly as it triggers response deadlines for you.  If these deadlines are not met, it can be detrimental to your case.

Once you file a lawsuit, you should monitor your mail over the next 30 to 60 days for any type of correspondence or response from the Defendant.  If you receive anything, it should be sent to your attorney for review.  Additionally, if the response includes a counterclaim, you should put your liability insurance carrier on notice. If you have liability coverage, that coverage will typically include a duty on your insurance company to hire an attorney to defend you against the counterclaim.

Filing a lawsuit and following it through the litigation process is a tricky ordeal and should not be done without the advice or consultation of counsel.  Here at Campbell and Associates we have a host of experienced attorneys to help you through it.  Our goal is to provide you with peace of mind during an otherwise frightening and foreign process.  We know the procedural pitfalls and traps.  More importantly, we can make sure that you avoid them.  Please feel free to give us a call or email us for a free consultation.

Written by: Payton Hoover, Litigation Attorney, Campbell & Associates, Attorneys at Law