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Elements of a Malicious Prosecution Case

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People are now quite knowledgeable about their rights. While this is a good thing, a few people are abusing the law to bring malicious claims against others. You thus might find yourself dragged to court one of these days as the defendant in a personal injury case. Being the subject of a civil or criminal case is not just emotionally but also financially draining. Moreover, your reputation might be tarnished permanently, whether you are found guilty or innocent.

If you suffered any injury to your spinal cord, ask a lawyer based in Lynnwood to file a malicious prosecution case. Malicious prosecution denotes a civil or criminal lawsuit filed against you without sufficient evidence or for an improper cause, such as harassing you or ruining your reputation. At times, you can be sued as the scapegoat in a genuine personal injury when you had little to do with it. In these instances, the law allows your malicious prosecution suit to address and prevent the abuse of legal processes. Here are the elements that apply to your case.

Resolution in the Plaintiff’s Favor

For you to bring a malicious prosecution claim, the original case in question should have ended in your favor. If this was a criminal case, you should have been found innocent, or the grand jury should have dismissed or rejected the charges against you. You can also have a case if a prosecutor abandoned your case. If the case ended with a favorable outcome for the plaintiff in your case, then you have no basis for a malicious prosecution claim.

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Active Involvement

The person you name as the defendant in your malicious prosecution suit should have played an active role in the original case. If, for instance, you choose to file a lawsuit against the prosecutor, he/she should have handled your case, mobilized other attorneys for the same, and filed charges. As such, witnesses in your original case are immune to prosecution even if their statements were false. This is because they were not actively involved in your case.

Probable Cause

You should also prove that a plaintiff in your original case had no evidence to believe you were at fault. If there was evidence that led prosecutors and plaintiffs to believe you might have been the one at fault in an accident, then you do not have sufficient grounds for malicious prosecution. This generally means looking through the evidence in your original case to find elements that can cast doubt on your guilt.

Improper Purpose

At times, a plaintiff relies on incorrect information or makes a genuine mistake when bringing a lawsuit against you. Even so, if you file a malicious prosecution case, the plaintiff should have intentionally instigated the case because of anger or a malicious reason like damaging your reputation. Improper purpose is a hard element to prove in malicious prosecution, but with a good lawyer, it is not impossible.

With the above elements, you can be awarded compensation for malicious prosecution. The settlement includes punitive, economic loss and mental harm damages. You can also claim the amount you have spent on legal fees for the original case.

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