Businesses and private individuals enjoy many of the same legal protections under the law. This extends to their ability to file lawsuits against other individuals and businesses. While lawsuits are often expensive and lengthy affairs, they are also necessary in some cases to protect property and rights.

Breach of Contract

Contract actions, such as breach of contract, are one reason an individual or business might sue. Legally binding contracts require both parties who sign to fulfill their obligations as outlined in the document. If one party fails to do so, the other may sue. Employers can sue employees who fail to perform their duties according to their employment contracts. Workers can also sue their employers if they breach employment contracts by not paying wages correctly. Other breach of contract lawsuits relate to real estate transactions and purchase agreements.

Copyright Infringement

Another common reason to sue is a case of copyright infringement. Copyright law protects both businesses and individuals who produce or own the rights to intellectual property. When anyone else reproduces, alters, sells or exhibits a copyrighted work, the copyright holder may sue for damages. Copyright law protects those who invest in content creation by ensuring that others must pay royalties to use the copyrighted work. However, as part of protecting copyrights, courts expect copyright holders to file lawsuits when they observe their rights being infringed upon.

Unlawful Termination

When an employer terminates a worker for reasons not named in an employment contract, it may result in a breach of contract lawsuit. However, even when there is no employment contract, an employee can sue an employer for wrongful termination. This is the case when an employer dismisses a worker unfairly based on discrimination or as a form of punishment. Federal laws protect workers from termination that results from reporting employers for illegal actions.


Another reason to sue is if you are the victim of someone else's negligence. This may be the case in an accident on someone else's property or a traffic accident that someone else causes. Suing for negligence can result in payment for your medical costs and attorney's fees, as well as an award for pain and suffering or lost wages. Negligence lawsuits are classified as tort actions in court.