Can I Sue A Company For Allowing Identity Theft?

Last Updated: Dec 04, 2022

If a third party has mishandled your data leading to identity theft and you suffer damages, you could potentially sue.

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Identity theft occurs when another person fraudulently makes use of another individual’s name and personal information for personal gain; most often financial gain in the form of credit cards and loans.

Obtaining the personal information of a potential victim varies in difficulty based on the level of precautions they have taken to safeguard their information.

Federal and state laws demands third party entities to ensure the personal information they handle on behalf of a consumer is safegaurded, failure to do so may expose them to severe consequences.

Can You Hold A Company Responsible For Identity Theft?

In most situations, criminals who successfully infiltrate and steal information do so anonymously. This may cause victims of identity theft to wonder who can be held responsible for the damages they have suffered through no fault of their own.

The victim may seek compensation from the third-party entity which had been entrusted with the private information as provided for in federal and state law. This includes any business that had possession of and may be responsible for the stolen information.

It remains important to take immediate action once any suspicious transactions have taken place.

What Can Be Recovered By Suing A Company For Identity Theft?

When suing a company for allowing identity theft, the victim will sue in civil court and potentially recover:

  • Compensatory damages: Most common type of damages awarded which generally covers the financial losses caused by the crime.
  • Punitive damages: Punitive damages are designed to provide the victim with additional monies, which also punishes and deters the defendant from committing similar future offenses.
  • Emotional damages: Emotional distress suffered by the victim as a result of the theft, might have a claim to recover emotional damages.
  • Injunctive relief: Injunctions are court orders used to control the defendants future actions by requiring a defendant to take, or refrain from a certain action in the interest of justice.

What can be recovered will ultimately rely on the type of information that was stolen during the breach, the extent of the damages, and the degree of negligence or failure of responsibility leading to the breach by the company.

Compensation will depend on the various legal procedures and framework governing the form of identity theft, and how well one can present evidence that meets the burden of proof.

Do I Need An Attorney As A Victim Of Identity Theft?

Considering how the specific facts of the case apply to the relevant federal and state laws can be a burden for most victims of identity theft.

Most companies will employ the services of a legal firm to represent them to minimize potential damages, or ensure that the case is completely overturned. Going up against these lawyers is no easy task. Consulting a lawyer could benefit you when the case is judged.

It would be very helpful to consult a lawyer who is familiar with the legal theories and civil procedures associated with identity theft. This ensures your case is argued by someone capable of obtaining the fairest compensation without overburdening yourself with trying to understand the legal requirements of your case.

Bottom line

When identity theft takes place through a third party and the perpetrator can’t be located, or is unable to compensate for the damages due to a poor economical standing; the victim of identity theft could have the right to claim damages against the company.

Compensation can be influenced by federal and state laws, the terms and conditions agreed to when entering into a relationship with a company, the nature of the information, and the degree to which a company is found negligent.

Consulting an attorney with the specialized knowledge, training, and experience to argue your case could be the advantage you need to protect your case from being rejected and secure an award in damages that you deserve.

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