When could you sue someone?

If you believe someone has wronged you, your best option is often to find some way to work out your dispute with the other party through conversation or mediated negotiations. You may find that, even without bringing the discussion into a public court, you are able to resolve your issues. However, certain opponents could prove intractable, requiring a stronger impetus to cooperate with your requests. In these situations, you might consider legal action.

Not every dispute would necessarily be a feasible case. Beyond fulfilling the requirements for filing suit, you would likely have to provide sufficient evidence of the wrongdoing in question in order to have a good chance of success. It would, therefore, probably be most efficient to analyze your situation meticulously before filing documents and paying fees.

If you understand the basis of the civil court system, it could be easier to determine whether or not you have a case. As outlined in FindLaw, you could potentially sue an organization or an individual when your situation fulfills certain conditions and one of the following is true:

  • The party breached a legal duty it had to you
  • The party violated your rights in some way

Theoretically, these two are the same: a violation of your legal rights could be a breach of civic duty. However, there is often a vast difference in the way litigants pursue civil rights cases versus other types of cases — those involving contract law, for example.

In fact, contract violations are one of the most common situations that might warrant you bringing a civil complaint against another party. Whether you would have a chance of motivating the other party to fulfill its duty would depend highly on the circumstances of your case, as would your ability to obtain compensation for damages. Therefore, please do not think of this as legal advice. It is meant only for informational purposes.



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