We live in a litigious society. Legally, a person can sue another person for just about anything – no matter how frivolous or absurd their claims may seem.
A vast majority of outlandish lawsuits will not yield any outcomes, and most will be thrown out by a judge before they can proceed any further. However, there are some lawsuits that may sound absurd, but have actually been ruled in favor of the plaintiff.
Below are a few things that you can be sued for that you may not have been aware of.
What Could I Get Sued For?
Posting a Negative Review Online
In this day and age, it is not uncommon for a dissatisfied customer to head online to voice their grievances about a business or service provider.
However, can these negative reviews ever be the subject of a lawsuit? The answer to this question comes down to whether or not the negative comments can be labeled as defamation. Defamation is defined as publically saying something that damages a person’s reputation.
Libel is written defamation, while slander is spoken defamation. To ensure that you cannot be sued for libel over your online remarks, you must ensure that your comments were verifiably true. In addition, if you can prove that your comments were opinion rather than statements of fact, you may be safe from a defamation lawsuit.
Posting Pictures on Facebook
When you tag someone in an unflattering picture, not only can it damage their reputation with their job and others, but you can actually be sued for this breach of privacy. In general, there are four ways to sue for invasion of privacy over a Facebook photo.
The first is “unreasonable intrusion of solitude”. This means that someone is secretly photographed in a place where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy, like inside their home.
The second is appropriation of someone’s name or likeness, which usually involves the unauthorized use of a celebrity or public figure’s photograph, but private citizens can also make “right of publicity” claims.
The third way to sue over a Facebook photo is if the picture publicly shares a fact that a reasonable person would expect to be kept private. The final way, “false light”, which is similar to defamation of character, and can be claimed if a photo is misleading and portrays the subject in a false light.
Texting Someone While They’re Driving
Texting and driving is unsafe, and in most states, it is illegal. When texting and driving leads to an accident, as it so often does, can the person who is texting the driver be held liable?
In most cases, the answer is no. However, there are certain circumstances in which the person behind the text messages that led to the crash can be held responsible. For instance, if the texter could reasonably believe that the person they are texting is driving, they could potentially share some of the responsibility for the accident.
However, simply knowing that the person is driving is not damning enough, as the messages could have been intended to be read at a later time.
According to a court ruling in Pennsylvania, “Additional proofs are necessary to establish the sender’s liability, namely, that the sender also knew or had special reason to know that the driver would read the message while driving and would thus be distracted from attending to the road and the operation of the vehicle.”
So, in order for you to be held liable, there must be considerable evidence that you not only knew the person you were texting was driving, but also that they would read it while still behind the wheel.
If Someone is Injured on My Property
If an accident occurs on your property, the injured party may be able to bring a personal injury suit against you. A landowner has a legal obligation to uphold a certain standard of care on their property. If the property falls below this standard of care, and these conditions lead to the injury of a visitor, the landowner may be held responsible.
Another factor determining the liability of the landowner is the type of visitor that was injured. If a social guest is invited onto your property, your sole responsibility is to warn them about any potential hidden dangers.
If no warning is given, then you could be held responsibility for any injuries that occur. If the guest is a business customer, you are not only expected to warn them about any dangers, but are also responsible for inspecting the property to ensure that conditions are safe.
If a trespasser is injured on your property, you are typically safe from any responsibility. However, there may be certain circumstances in which you can reasonably expect a trespasser to enter your property.
For instance, if your property is very large and there is inadequate signage indicating that it is private. If this is the case, you have an obligation to warn against any potential hidden dangers.
If My Dog Bites Somebody
Depending on the specific circumstances, if your dog is responsible for biting someone, and the injured person isn’t trespassing on your property, you could find yourself being sued for a dog bite claim. Furthermore, anyone who let’s a dog stay on their property could be responsible for any injury that dog causes if they are being unreasonably careless in allowing the dog to remain on their premises. (See the 10 worst Florida Dog Bite Lawsuits Fines)
If you have been named in a lawsuit or injured in an accident, call The Stafford Firm (561) 540-4533.
Shane Stafford has years of experience handling lawsuits. Whether you were injured in an accident by no fault of your own, or are being named in a frivolous lawsuit, our dedicated team of knowledgeable attorneys will ensure that you receive justice.
We handle personal injury cases, slip and fall injuries, auto or drunk-driving accidents, dog bites and much more! Don’t take on a lawsuit by yourself, contact the professionals at The Stafford Firm today.