Can You Sue Someone for Identity Theft?

Can You Sue Someone for Identity Theft?

( – It’s difficult to recover from the damage of identity theft. The extent of the financial issues and other consequences of the crime can leave a mess that can take years to iron out. While law enforcement may go after the suspected culprit for related criminal charges, you may wonder if you have any legal recourse. Here are the details to know about suing someone for stealing your identity.

Whom to Sue

The first step in taking legal action is figuring out who you will file the lawsuit against. The most obvious person would be whoever committed the crime, but it’s not always easy to nail down the culprit. If you cannot find the exact person, you have other options.

You could possibly take financial institutions, creditors, businesses or government entities to court over an identity theft situation. You will have to prove the person or entity was negligent and led to your loss. For example, if a creditor had a security breach that allowed your personal information to get into the hands of the identity thief, you may have a case against them.

In such situations, you may become part of a class-action lawsuit, joining others who have also suffered from the entity’s alleged negligence. You and other plaintiffs would receive a portion of any payout from the court order.

Case Expectations

Any case of this type that you bring to court would be a civil matter. In that type of lawsuit, you have the ability to collect monetary damages and receive other relief related for the situation.

A court may award three types of damages:

  • Compensatory damages include direct financial losses from the fraud.
  • Injunctive relief stops the accused from repeating a specific act in the future.
  • Punitive damages go over and above compensatory in the form of financial compensation to punish the wrongdoer.

Criminal Charges

Note that if there are criminal charges in your case, the court may order the guilty party to pay you restitution. You could still file a civil lawsuit even if you received money from the criminal case. Courts will usually make you wait to file a civil lawsuit until the criminal trial ends.

Your identity is one of your most valuable assets, and you have every right to use the law to fight back when someone tries to steal it. In most cases, you could be able to sue the criminal or an associated entity responsible and seek financial compensation.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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