You may have heard the term "grounds to sue" and wondered what it meant. People get hurt by the careless actions of others every day but not all of those people have grounds to file a lawsuit. One of your first acts should be to contact a personal injury attorney when you feel you've been wronged. It might be helpful to view things from a lawyer's point of view when trying to determine the validity of a case. Read on to find out more about the grounds for filing a lawsuit.
Were You Injured?
There must be proof of harm done for there to be lawsuit grounds. It doesn't have to be a physical injury but that caution comes with a caveat. If you are involved in certain types of personal injury cases, you must show that you suffered from physical injuries. For example, if you were involved in a car accident and the other driver caused it, you should be able to prove physical injuries. On a related note, you may not have sufficient grounds to file suit if you suffered only psychological damages from the car accident.
While this type of damage (known as pain and suffering) is often available to auto accident victims, the damages are nearly always based on the dollar figure of your medical treatment costs and the seriousness of your physical injuries. There are other types of civil cases, however, that involve other types of injuries. You can sue someone for defamation, for example, and the grounds might be damage to your personal life, your career, or your financial situation. The important thing is to be able to prove some type of injury.
Can You Show Proof of the Injury?
It's not enough to show that you were harmed, you must be able to demonstrate why the other party is at fault and why you suffered harm. That means evidence and that goes for all types of civil cases from car accidents to defamation and more. In most cases, the more proof you have the stronger your grounds for a suit. Evidence might consist of some or all of the following:
- Official reports
- Witness statements
- Medical records
- Statements or testimony from experts like accident reconstruction experts or financial experts.
At your first attorney-client meeting, your attorney will determine whether or not you have grounds to file a lawsuit and what actions to take to do so. Speak to a personal injury attorney to find out more.