What Can You Sue Someone For?

man in shirt and tie signing papers

Opening a lawsuit and suing someone can be complicated and convoluted if you aren’t familiar with the process. Unfortunately, many of us will need to know how to file a lawsuit in our lifetime. Whether you are in a dispute about damages, discrimination and harassment, or wrongful termination, there is a litany of reasons you could sue someone. 

There are countless examples of unusual things that find their way into a lawsuit; however, two of the most common reasons are litigation due to physical or financial harm. These two issues have a wide array of topics and situations that fall under their umbrella term. They are further broken down into companies against individuals and vice versa, as well as individuals suing other individuals. The range of who can and who does file a lawsuit mirrors the diversity of the people and entities of the nation. 

If you are wondering whether you have grounds to sue someone, Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys can help.

Common Reasons to Sue

It would be impossible to list every conceivable reason to sue a person. American courts have existed for almost 250 years. Unfortunately, the magnitude of legal cases throughout history has created controversy and misinformation on lawsuits. 

There are numerous common causes for opening a lawsuit, and many of the reasons you might pursue legal action will typically fall under one of these scenarios: 

Slander and Libel

Free speech is protected under the first amendment to the constitution. However, most people don’t consider that there are consequences to their actions, or in this case, their words. Just because you can say whatever you wish doesn’t mean that there aren’t scenarios where you find yourself in legal trouble. 

A lawsuit opened in this manner must show that the entity spoke (slander) or wrote (libel) a knowing untruth and created harm to an individual or business. This action must also prove the individual intentionally said this resulting in damages to reputation or fiscal loss. 


Slander and libel focus on issues regarding damages from spoken or written fallacies. However, damages can stem from a wide array of negligence resulting in harm to a person or company. Damages seek to gain compensation for injury to physical, emotional, and fiscal losses. 

Physical injury involves situations where an individual was wrongfully hurt, such as battery or car accident. An emotional distress lawsuit could be the result of trauma through domestic abuse, causing the individual to no longer have the capability to live a normal life. Fiscal damages could be a result of an individual breaking the power supply to the building, forcing the business to close for a period of time.   

Contract Enforcement

A situation that often is associated with damages, but doesn’t necessarily result in them, is enforcing a contract. A breach of contract has the potential to cause damages to one of the parties involved, but it doesn’t have to. Litigation could happen before any pain and suffering has occurred. 

Additionally, there may never be damages. Contract enforcement could be the result of a debtor refusing to pay their lender. It could be the result of unsatisfactory work being disputed. If it was an oral agreement, one party might be suing to clarify the terms of the contract.  

Property Disputes

Similar to contracts, property disputes often occur when people disagree on landlines. These disputes could be something like a fence or shed being erected or where a car is parked. If there is an HOA, this could also be building a shed or fence not in compliance with the HOA code. 

Additionally, some lawsuits surrounding property disputes center more on noise and maintenance of the area. People are entitled to live in a safe and peaceful environment. Noise and safety hazards can lead to suing someone. 

Who Can Sue

A question that often arises when trying to figure out whether or not you can sue someone is who can actually sue? In short, anyone can sue. Now, that doesn’t mean that they have justifiable legal claims, but rather that they have the right to open a lawsuit. 

Not all lawsuits will make it to court due to a variety of reasons. This can happen when the person attempting to sue has no legal grounds or there is missing paperwork that needs to be filed. If you don’t have a background in law, it’s not the best decision to file as pro se litigants or “in one’s own behalf.” Obtaining legal advice is wise in most circumstances. 

When You Can Sue

In reality, there are countless reasons and causes to sue. If you feel you have been wrongfully harmed, you might have grounds to pursue legal action. This can be for any of the reasons previously listed or another issue. When you feel like your pain and suffering warrants further action, it is worth looking into whether or not you are entitled to damages being repaid. 

If you still have concerns about understanding how to sue a company or how to sue someone, contact the professionals at Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys. We can offer better insights into whether or not you have an actionable lawsuit. 


Anniversary of the Federal Court System.

Filing Without an Attorney

First Amendment, Library of Congress.

FLA. STAT. § 760.01(2) (2022).