When an injured party commenced a lawsuit to seek compensation for damages, all legitimate efforts were made to locate you (as the defendant) and serve you with a copy of the claim. If you were not aware of the lawsuit, the plaintiff’s counsel was unable to locate you or, perhaps, you refused to accept service of the claim. In either case, the court would have allowed the claim to be served substitutionally (for example, by delivery to your last known address or by publication in one or more local newspapers).
Even if you were never located (for example, failed to cooperate with the Justice system or update your address on file) but the plaintiff obtained and complied with a substitutional service order, the lawsuit would still proceed and you would be found liable for the judgment. The principle is that the plaintiff should have access to justice even when the defendant cannot be located or refuses to cooperate with the legal process.
Should you have questions regarding your case or disagree with the judgment made against you, you should obtain legal counsel. For your convenience, Legal Referrals provides contact information to the Lawyer Referral Service and to various legal help services which may be offered at no cost for low-income individuals.