When You’ve Been Sued: What To Know

Being the recipient of a lawsuit can be incredibly stressful. Just trying to read the legalese in the documents can be frustrating and confusing. Your first priority when you are sued is to get some legal help on your side. You will need a personal injury lawyer to help you fight against the allegations in the suit. In the meantime, it might be helpful to know what you will be facing as the legal process moves forward, so read on to find out.

Proof of Harm Done

To win a case against you, the other side must prove that your actions met the three-step process for a successful case:

Duty of Care — This means that you owed the plaintiff (the person suing you) a responsibility to not cause them any harm.

Duty of Care Breached — You failed in your duty of care and a person was harmed.

Injury Resulted — As a result of the breach of duty of care, harm came to a person. That harm may be physical, as in a car accident. It might also be harm to a reputation (defamation) or emotional harm or trauma. Harm can also include financial losses, such as with a wrecked car and lost wages. Take a look at some examples of these elements at work.

1. A runner tripped on the sidewalk in front of a home. The runner sues, but the homeowner shows they had no duty of care. The sidewalk lies under the jurisdiction of the city who should have maintained it better. Since no duty of care exists between the homeowner and the runner, that element is not met.

2. A driver is sued when they hit another car at an intersection. The reason for the collision, however, is attributed to faulty brakes. The brake manufacturer admits to issues with the brakes. The driver's actions did not directly cause the accident; therefore, they did not breach the duty of care.

3. An internet user is sued for defamation when their social media post allegedly results in getting someone fired from their job. After further investigation, however, the worker was targeted for firing due to an unrelated issue. No harm came to the person as a result of the posting, which is the third element of harm done.

To learn more about defending yourself against a lawsuit, speak to a personal injury attorney like Jack W Hanemann, P.S.