In order to file a lawsuit against another party in a court of law, a person must have standing. Standing essentially means that the person has the ability to sue regarding the situation at hand. 

The issue of standing is addressed federally by the United States Constitution and is also addressed at the state law level. There are three elements a person must satisfy in order to have standing to sue. 

Elements of Standing to Sue 

California courts look at three elements to determine whether you have standing to sue: injury-in-fact, causation, and redressability. These elements are further examined below. 

Injury In Fact 

In order to sue another person or entity, you must have suffered an actual injury. An injury can be physical, like one that results from using a defective product. An injury can also appear as economic damages, such as medical bills or lost wages. Your injuries must have been sustained by you before filing the lawsuit and provable through the presentation of evidence in court. 


Causation is a legal concept that refers to linking the damages or injuries you have suffered to the conduct of the party whom you are suing. In determining causation, the court will evaluate the evidence to decide if you would not have been injured but for the conduct of the liable party. 

The court will examine the evidence under this test to establish a link. If no link is found between the defendant party’s conduct and your injuries, you may not have the standing to file your claim. 


This element concerns the judicial system’s ability to provide relief to the party bringing the lawsuit. While a court cannot reverse the injuries sustained by the plaintiff, it can provide financial relief in the form of damages. As a result, this standing element is relatively simple to assert in a personal injury case. Personal injury victims can claim economic damages as well as non-economic damages.

Economic damages include items such as:

  • The victim’s medical expenses, either in the past, present, or future 
  • The cost of long-term care as a result of the plaintiff’s injuries 
  • The victim’s lost wages or bonuses 

Non-economic damages include items such as: 

The jury looks at all of the injuries suffered by the plaintiff, as mentioned above, and determines the amount of money to which they believe the plaintiff is entitled. 

I Have Standing To Sue – Now What?

Just because a plaintiff is determined to have standing to sue does not mean that the plaintiff automatically wins their case. Standing is a prerequisite to bringing the lawsuit and is not an element within the claim itself (for example, a negligence claim). The plaintiff will then have to go on to establish the elements involved in their claim. If the case goes to trial, the jury will be the factfinder to determine if the plaintiff should win. 

Contact the North County Personal Injury Lawyers at Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today

For more information, please contact the Vista personal injury law firm of Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.

We serve in North County, CA and its surrounding areas:

Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers – Vista, CA Office
380 S Melrose Dr. Ste. 201
Vista, CA 92081

(619) 344-0360

Petrov Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers – Oceanside, CA Office
702 Civic Center Drive Ste. 105
Oceanside, CA, 92054

(619) 678-1016