Identity theft happens when someone steals personally identifiable information and uses it for their own benefit or crimes.
If this happens to you, you should first file a case with your local police department and notify the credit bureaus of the fraudulent or illegal activity taking place on your account. Then, reach out to a lawyer to begin the action of moving forward with a civil suit and possibly sue for damages.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Identity Theft?
The identity thief themselves should always be sued. However, you can also sue any related companies or agencies:
- Credit bureaus,
- Credit agencies, and
All of these companies have the responsibility to look out for the consumer. They must notify the account holder if suspicious or out-of-the-ordinary activity is taking place on the account and take steps to stop it. If they don’t, they can be held liable as well.
When Can You Sue Someone for Identity Theft?
You can sue someone for identity theft after you (and your attorney) have proved that they did indeed steal your identity. You can also sue an agency or company after you have proved that they did not perform their due diligence to protect your account or information.
Suing credit agencies, bureaus, and banks is a lengthy and difficult process. It is well worth the partnership to have someone who knows exactly how to deal with these situations.
What Types of Compensation Are Available for Identity Theft?
Putting a reward amount on an identity theft case is difficult. Each case is unique. It’s best to reach out to your local law firm for a free consultation in which you can discuss the details of your case and they can give you an idea of what to expect.
However, there are a few types of damages that are common in a case like this.
- Compensatory Damages: These are for actual financial loss, such as medical bills, increased credit interest rates, lost wages, etc. These are the easiest to recover because they can be proved with paper documents.
- Punitive Damages: These aren’t so much a recovery for the victim as an extra punishment. They are put into place as a future deterrent
- Emotional Damages: These are the hardest to recover in a civil, state, or federal case. Emotional pain and suffering are hard to prove, but if you have a seasoned lawyer by your side they will be able to help you present your case to show how hard the theft has been on your life.
Working with an experienced, compassionate consumer affairs lawyer can help you get back on your feet much more quickly. Reach out to our team for a free consultation so we can help you decide on the best course of action.