Your identity is who you are. It is what sets you apart from others. It is how other people recognize you, and it is an important entity that should not be taken away from you. However, in this highly fast-paced and digital age, anyone’s identity and other personal information can easily be stolen and used for fraudulent or deceitful purposes. Such circumstance is called identity theft, and these identity thieves usually take advantage of other people’s identity so that they can purchase anything they want.
Filing a Lawsuit for Identity Theft
For instance, your identity has been compromised, can you sue someone for identity theft? Yes, suing the person who stole my identity can be a way for you to take legal action against the crime. As a matter of fact, the Department of Justice in the US prosecutes cases of identity theft under a variety of federal laws. In 1998, the Congress passed the legislation, Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act, which makes it illegal to “knowingly transfer[ring] or us[ing], without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of Federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any applicable State or local law.”
Once an offender is convicted of the crime after suing the person who stole my identity, he or she will pay a fine and carry up to 15 years of imprisonment. In addition to the punishment, the personal properties, which were used in committing the crime, will be forfeited by the authority.
Chances of Winning an Identity Theft Case
Although you can sue someone for identity theft, the problem lies in identifying the person whom you will sue. Apparently, almost all states allow an identity theft victim to file a lawsuit against the identity purloiner if a lot of things have been compromised. However, this type of legal cases is very broad due to the number of people or organizations that will potentially hold responsible for the identity theft. There are also theories of liability that can be grounds for the lawsuit. Some of them are the following:
*Invasion of Privacy
*Breach of Contract
*Breach of Fiduciary Duty
*Intrusion upon Seclusion
*Publication of Private or Personal Facts
*Appropriation of Name or Likeness
*Infliction of Emotional Distress
The Department of Justice further said that “the task of correcting incorrect information about their financial or personal status, and trying to restore their good names and reputations, may seem as daunting as trying to solve a puzzle in which some of the pieces are missing and other pieces no longer fit as they once did.” And on another unfortunate note, the damage, which the identity thieves do in purloining their victim’s identity and in using it to commit the crime, takes longer to resolve than it is for the criminals to do the crime itself.
Who and What Will You Sue?
Despite the arduously long process of resolving the case and even identifying the real culprit, who and what can you sue someone for identity theft?
The victim may have a successful identity theft case if he or she files a lawsuit against banks and other financial institutions, as well as, employers of the establishments and some government bodies. This is due to the fact that the aforementioned institutions are the keepers of the most confidential and personal information of the victim, hence, they can potentially become liable for the stolen identity.
Suing the person who stole my identity is categorized as a civil case, and it is going to help you recover the following:
– Compensatory or Economic Damages
– Emotional or Non-Economic Damages
– Punitive Damages or Solely punishing the offender
– Injunctive Relief