Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 20, 2013

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To win a suit for fraud, you must show that you were truly deceived by the misrepresentations given and that you reasonably relied on the statement or act to your detriment. In other words, your reliance on the action or statement affected your course of action. And you suffered harm because of the misrepresentation.

Though this is the basis for an action for fraud, there is an exception. Exaggerated claims, “sales talk,” (e.g., the car salesmen trumpets) or “puffing” are not usually considered fraudulent since the courts view them as statements of opinion, not statements of facts. Half-truths that are misleading are grounds for action for fraudulent misrepresentation.

You must also show that the person making the statement knew it was an outright lie. This element may be a major hurdle to prove because dishonest people are very skillful and ingenious at disguising their statements, knowing the “fine line” to avoid legal trouble or face any scrutiny.