People can start a lawsuit for many reasons–some much more surprising than others. In 2015, a New York resident set out to sue after falling down the stairs at the Grand Central Station after a crime-show TV poster caught her off guard. The lawsuit did not go through, but plenty of lawsuits do–or at least make it to settlement.
For instance, in 2016, a teen sued Subway after paying for a footlong and only receiving an 11-inch sandwich. A few years later, there was a class-action lawsuit, and the company went on to make sure all future sandwiches were as described: a full 12 inches long. This case ended in a settlement.
Today, we will examine a few reasons why you can get sued to help you know what not to do. If you need to consult a lawyer at any point, feel free to get in touch with Clearwater Law Group. We seek to give you the best legal representation in the Tri-Cities area.
Ask a Lawyer: Top 5 Surprising Reasons You Can Get Sued
Here at Clearwater Law Group, one of the most common lawsuit types we work with is civil. That means that someone is looking for compensation due to an injury, property damage, or failure to follow through with an agreement.
If you research a list of things you can sue for, you might find common answers, such as contract breaches, professional malpractice, or discrimination. However, there are multiple other reasons why people get sued.
Here are five surprising reasons, as told by our civil lawyers:
#1: Emotional Distress
While emotional distress is a less common lawsuit, it does happen. If someone caused you significant psychological harm, you could sue. This does not necessarily need to come with a physical injury. Emotional distress can occur as a result of reckless disregard or intent.
Emotional distress often includes symptoms such as extreme anxiety, apprehension, anger, humiliation, and sometimes depression. A case could be valid if the opposing party was aware that their actions would lead to emotional distress in some format. Otherwise, there would have been no distress on your part.
Many types of abuse and confrontation could constitute an emotional distress case. For instance, repeated verbal confrontation could lead to a lawsuit. You would need proper evidence to show that this confrontation has created undue stress, as you might expect. However, with a dependable lawyer on your side, you will have a good idea of what you will need to gather, making it easier to put together your case.
#2: Property Disagreements
Property disagreements among neighbors are one of the most common lawsuits. If something on your neighbor’s property endangers you and your family, there might be a lawsuit at hand. Perhaps your neighbor built a fence but failed to ask if it could go on your property, putting it there anyway. Again, you could bring the law into it.
You can also sue if your neighbor’s yard is unkempt and leaks a repelling smell that prevents you from going outside and making the most of your home. There is no requirement that a home must be spotless all the time, but if your neighbor does something that makes their home not comfortable to be next to, you could get the law involved.
Another reason why people get sued is if a neighbor makes excessive noise at all hours of the night. This can affect your quality of living and is not what you expected when you moved into your home, which constitutes a potential lawsuit. (Got sued or want to file a lawsuit against someone? Contact Clearwater Law Group here.)
#3: Mistrust Over Trusts
If you are a trust’s beneficiary, you can sue if you have concerns that the trustees lack the right state of mind or means to oversee the trust. Trustees are responsible for tracking income, allocating the funds to each beneficiary, and taking care of the taxes.
All beneficiaries are entitled to keeping a carbon copy of the official trust, receiving updates, and getting their distributions on a regular basis. The trustee must act in your best interests. If they do everything but that, there is the potential for a lawsuit.
#4: Defective Products
If you were physically hurt by a company’s product, you could have the grounds to sue. However, if multiple people were harmed by the same product, you might have a class-action lawsuit on your hands. Assuming you do, you will need enough people who have had the same experience with the product as you did.
There should be sufficient evidence that the product was used the correct way. Then, a person may go on to seek compensation for any hospital bills or income they missed out on from being out of work after getting hurt by the product.
#5: Not Investigating an Employee’s Concerns Fast Enough
Your employee could sue if no action is taken after a complaint. Perhaps, your employee expressed concerns about a supervisor to the human resources department.
If you do not look into the issue in a timely manner, and you do not update the employee who issued the complaint, you could risk legal issues. In fact, putting off an investigation is one of the many things you can sue a company for in today’s age.
Taking action should never include wrongful termination, of course. Just as you can get sued by waiting too long to follow up on an employee’s concerns, you can get sued for firing the employee after the complaint.
Whether you want to begin a lawsuit or figure out how to stop someone from suing you, a lawyer is your best resource. Lawsuits are not difficult to start. However, they can be hard to maintain, and they often end in settlements or dismissals.
To ensure your case ends the way you want it to, it is best to retain legal representation straight away. Your lawyer can help you achieve the right outcome by gathering evidence, putting together testimonies, and filing all the proper documentation.
Not sure how to handle a lawsuit? Clearwater Law Group’s lawyers have years of knowledge and experience, helping you achieve the best result. Schedule a one-on-one consultation with us today.