Suing for Driver Carelessness?

by Jennifer
(Chicago, Illinois)

My friend was hit by a car that was backing out in a parking lot. She wasn't hurt other than some scratches and bruises but still wants to sue for the driver's carelessness.

Can she sue for driver carelessness and what are her chances of winning the case?

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Suing for Driver Carelessness?":

Jennifer (Chicago, Illinois):

Anyone can sue anyone else at any time, and for anything. The question is if filing a lawsuit will be effective, non-effective, or frivolous.

To be effective there must be damages. Damages can include personal injuries, property damage, and pain and suffering, also known as emotional distress or mental anguish. If damages are not present, filing a lawsuit will be non-effective, or worse, considered frivolous.

Filing a lawsuit without damages is dangerous. Doing so is looked upon quite seriously by the courts. The dockets (court calendars) are already filled to capacity, and the last thing a judge wants to see on her docket are unnecessary cases.

Sometimes people file lawsuits because they are upset with another person or a company. They do so because they believe they should be compensated for another person's rudeness, carelessness, or disrespect shown them.

Rudeness, disrespect, carelessness, and other intangible affronts are not grounds for a lawsuit.

Technically, a lawsuit can be filed for some minor scratches to one’s vehicle, but even minor scratches can come dangerously close to a frivolous lawsuit.

The best thing to do is calm down, take a breath, sleep on it, and then if you want to have the scratches fixed, ask the other person to pay for the repairs. If they don’t, and presuming you took their insurance information at the time of the collision, you can contact their insurance company.

Remember, a lawsuit should always be a last resort.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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