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I own a small business with my son. We are Incorporated. We…

Customer Question
I own a small...

I own a small business with my son. We are Incorporated. We are being sued by an insurance agency and I need to file a defense within 10 days. I can not afford a lawyer and our Liability insurance company is not helping us. How can I file a defense, or what should I do?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

PA

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Yes the insurance company for the plaintiff filed a claim against us for $89000.00

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I received a Notice of Praecipe to enter judgement by default

Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
11/29/2017
Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 6 months ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 125,303
Experience: JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
Verified

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

What type of business is it? A sole proprietorship or is it an LLC, S-corp or C-corp?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
We had numerous problems with the customer during the job. But we did good work for them. We do not know what kind of damage was done after we left to cause the insurance company to pay out anything, let alone such an exuberant amount.
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Cutting Edge Tile and Marble Inc. We are an S-Corp
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
It says I received a response to my question. But the only thing I received is the ad trying to get me to call. Where is my answer?
Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 6 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

I am sorry to be the bearer of unfortunate news for you on this issue. Under PA law a party has a right to represent themselves pro se without an attorney, but that right does not extend to a registered business entity which can sue and be sued on its own and is considered a separate legal person. Any such efforts to do so can be deemed unauthorized practice of law, because you are representing a S-corp that is considered a separate legal person from you and your son.

I do not understand why your insurance is not representing you if you had business liability insurance and you need to contact them again and insist they represent you in the claim if you do have liability insurance.

Please be patient as I continue typing your answer. Ignore the phone requests, the expert did not send it and cannot stop the site from sending those automatic requests.

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Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 6 months ago

To continue your answer.

If you had business liability insurance, they are bound to represent you and if not you could sue them for breach of contract for not providing you the coverage you paid for.

If your business liability policy does exclude this type of claim, then you need to get a local attorney to represent you in the matter OR you face the judgment. Any response filed pro se by a business owner is stricken from the record as though no pleading was filed.

If they do get judgment against you, there is an option many business owners take, which is filing for bankruptcy. This is called a strategic bankruptcy and you can always form a new business using your spouse or your son's spouse to form it and continue business on under a new name and get the judgment against your business discharged in bankruptcy.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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