Can you be sued for personal injury when the other person initiated the attack? How? 13 Answers as of May 18, 2015

Our neighbor is mentally unstable, and he attacked my son and I. My son acted in self-defense, and they both sustained injuries. The police report stated that it was self-defense and that the neighbor initiated the attack, but now he is suing us for personal injury and negligence. Can he do that? How should I respond?

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JV Law Group, LLP
JV Law Group, LLP | Julie Jung
Yes, he can sue. The issue is whether he will win his case in court. You cannot just ignore the suit even though the truth may be that your son acted in self-defense. If he hired an attorney to represent him, you should retain an attorney as well.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/18/2015
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
Contact your home owner's insurer adapt. They should provide a defense.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 5/14/2015
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
Turn it over to your homeowner's insurance. You have a defense. The homeowners company will appoint you a defense attorney. If you do not have insurance, you will need to hire a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/13/2015
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
Many lay persons use the term "suing" without really understanding the technical aspects of that term. Have you been served with a Summons and Complaint? If not, then it's just talk. If you have, then the best way to deal with it is to hire a lawyer so that you can get the most efficient and throrough defense.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/13/2015
Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
Anyone can always sue anyone else, but that does not mean they will win. ?if you are a homeowner, your insurance will provide a free attorney and pay for the defense of the case. ?Notify the insurance company immediately. ?The neighbor can only collect if he can show your son or you used unreasonable force in defending yourselves. ?He probably has a very weak case and you should cross-complain against him for starting the altercation and any injuries, including pain and suffering, you had. ?He likely spoke to an attorney, to whom he did not tell the entire true to, ?who told him he could see if he could get your insurance company to pay something. ?He included a claim for negligence to drag the insurance company in, as its coverage would not include any claim for intentional acts.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/13/2015
    End, Hierseman & Crain, LLC | J. Michael End
    You will have to get a lawyer to represent you. Do not let the man take a default judgment against you and your son.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 5/13/2015
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    You should retain a lawyer ASAP, as you only have 30 days within which to file an answer. To answer your question, anyone can sue anyone; however, I doubt that they will be successful.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/13/2015
    Goldstein and Peck. P.C.
    Goldstein and Peck. P.C. | William J. Kupinse, Jr
    A person can be sued for personal injuries even though the other person initiated the attack. Self-defense would be a defense to such an action. If the person being sued has homeowners' or renters' insurance or an umbrella policy, the insurance company should be notified.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/12/2015
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    He can sue, but it doesn't sound like he can win. Turn the lawsuit over to your homeowners insurance company and let them defend you. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/12/2015
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    You can be sued for anything, but the other side should not win given the facts you have given. If you have homeowners insurance they will probably defend your son. If not you should hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/12/2015
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    You need to file an Answer within 20 days, and within that Answer you need to deny any allegations with which you disagree. If you fail to respond within 20 days, you may have a default entered against you. It would be better to hire a lawyer to do this for you.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/12/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Yes he can sue, question is whether or not he can win. Notify your renters or homeowners insurance carrier.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/12/2015
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    Call you home insurer and report the claim immediately. You may have insurance coverage. If you are served a lawsuit don't ignore it. If your insurer is either denying coverage or delaying, send a written denial of each of the untrue allegations in the lawsuit to the court so your neighbor can't take a default judgment against you or your son. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 5/12/2015
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