What Are the Legal Requirements to Be Eligible to File a Lawsuit?
The impact of a personal injury can be widespread. You may be the primary or exclusive breadwinner in your family and be unable to work because of your injuries. You may be the spouse or child of an injured person, and lose the ability to have a close or intimate relationship, because of the injuries. You may be a friend or business associate and experience loss of companionship or contribution to the business.
After an accident, qualified persons can file a personal injury claim to recover for certain losses. But what are the criteria that make you eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages?
Standing to Sue
The general legal principle that governs eligibility to recover compensation in a lawsuit is knows as “standing to sue.” A person may only be a plaintiff in personal injury litigation if he or she has standing. What does that mean?
Standing is unrelated to the facts of a case, the cause of an accident or the disputed issues, except as they relate to the relationship between the injured person and the person seeking to recover damages (financial compensation after a loss). Standing simply means that you have a right to sue. To establish standing, you must show three things:
- That you suffered an actual injury—You cannot file a lawsuit for damages for what “might have happened.” You cannot bring a lawsuit for injuries suffered by another person, unless those injuries caused you to suffer injury or loss. Furthermore, you cannot bring a personal injury lawsuit for injuries that may arise in the future.
- You must show that the defendant (party from whom you seek damages) caused the accident and injury
- You must show that the court will be able to do something to either undo the harm done to you or to compensate you for the harm you have suffered
Contact the Cintron Firm
At the Cintron Firm, LLC, we offer more than 14 years of experience to people in New Jersey facing a broad array of legal challenges. Attorney Mark Cintron has worked as a prosecutor and has extensive courtroom experience, so he’s always ready, willing and able to protect your interests before a judge or jury. Contact our office online or call us at 201-791-1333 or 917-494-5695 to set up an appointment.