You can sue someone if they harm you. However, it can be tricky to figure out what you can sue for and what evidence you need. Here are ten types of offenses you can sue another party for:
If you experience long-term emotional distress after someone physically harms you, you may have a case. You need evidence that the offending party harmed you, such as recordings or eye-witness reports. Next, medical records are the best way to prove you experienced resultant emotional distress. Finally, you must provide evidence that the emotional distress led to damages, such as missing work.
Typically, emotional distress cases are connected to experiencing physical harm - however, you may have a case if someone places undue stress on you in other ways. Let's say you have a roommate who continually violates your lease agreement - the stress of navigating losing you may warrant such a case.
Giving You COVID
If you have evidence that you contracted COVID from another person, you may have a case if they knowingly violate regulations. However, it is very challenging to prove you got an infectious disease from another person - you may need a video of the culprit sneezing on you!
You may have a case if someone knowingly lies to you. You will need to provide documentation of the lie and, further, you must be able to show how the lie led to personal damages. For example, if a malicious co-worker gave you the wrong time for an important meeting and you get fired, you may have a case!
You can sue someone for libel if they publish a provably false statement about you that leads to damages. The publication (e.g., news article, podcast, social media post) is typically the primary form of evidence. You must be able to prove the statement is false. Importantly, you can't sue for libel if the information is an opinion - for example, a musician can't sue a critic for a bad review.
Slander - like libel - is when someone makes a public statement, perhaps during a conversation, about another person that is false and damaging. Audio recordings or an eye-witness report may be needed to prove the statement was made.
Then, as with libel, you must be able to prove the statement was false. You can't sue someone if they think you're a bad cook, but you can probably sue someone if they say you poisoned the customers at your restaurant!
Make Sure You Have A Case
The best way to figure out if you have a case is to speak with a lawyer. If hiring a lawyer is too expensive, you can file a case yourself in small claims court. You will need to go to a local courthouse and fill out the appropriate forms. However, navigating court procedures can be challenging (hence why lawyers go to school for a long time). You can also opt to use an online filing service such as Dispute, a cheaper option than a traditional lawyer and can handle filing the claim on your behalf!