Litigation Lawyers in Dothan
In Dothan, Alabama, a "tort" is specified as any civil wrong, besides breach of contract, for which the law provides a remedy.
Essentially, any bad act in Dothan, Alabama that gives you the legal right to sue the person who committed the act, is a tort. Your particular right to sue is called a "cause of action."
The law of Dothan, Alabama recognizes several dozen different torts, but only a few of them are actually litigated with any frequency, and many of them are relics of a bygone age. However, there are a few torts that are litigated very often. These torts are negligence, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and battery.
Types of Torts in Dothan, Alabama
Negligence: In Dothan, Alabama, negligence is the most commonly-litigated tort. It is defined as a failure to act (in any situation) with a reasonable level of care, and causing harm as a result of that carelessness. For instance, if a store that's open to the public fails to remove ice from its front entrance, or put up any kind of warning, even though it knows that the ice is there, it is not exercising reasonable care. If anyone is injured as a result, the store owner will likely be required to compensate them for their injuries. This is, obviously, just an example.
Fraud: In Dothan, Alabama, fraud is a fairly common tort that the local court system has to deal with, though it may not be quite as common as negligence. To put it in the simplest terms possible, fraud is a deliberate lie that causes tangible harm (such as financial loss) to the person to whom the lie is told. Fraud is committed in a wide variety of contexts, but it most often happens when someone is trying to sell a product for more than it's worth. They might lie to a prospective buyer about the product's quality or value. If the buyer relies on this misrepresentation when deciding to buy the product, they are the victim of fraud, and have a right to sue the seller for their financial losses, and possibly recover punitive damages.
Battery: The law in Dothan, Alabama defines battery as any harmful or offensive contact by one person, with the body of another person, without the consent of the victim. Any punch, kick, strike, or slap would precisely amount to battery, since it is harmful, unless it occurs in a context where the person being battered consented to it (a lawful boxing match, for example). However, conduct that doesn't cause any physical harm, but is "offensive," can also be considered battery. This most often comes up when one person initiates unwanted sexual contact with another.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress: Intentional infliction of emotional distress is also called IIED in Dothan, Alabama, and it was not identified as a valid cause of action until fairly recently (for the longest time, physical harm was a requirement before someone could sue for tort damages). To hold a defendant liable for IIED, it must be shown that the defendant engaged in some type of outrageous conduct, targeted at the plaintiff. Furthermore, it must be shown that this conduct directly caused severe emotional distress in the plaintiff, and that that was the defendant's intent. Proving that actual emotional distress occurred is the most difficult element of this tort, and the plaintiff's word is far from sufficient. It often requires intensive examination by a psychiatrist, who will then testify as to the plaintiff's mental state.
How Can A Dothan, Alabama Tort Lawyer Help?
If somebody has harmed you, either intentionally or negligently, in Dothan, Alabama, you might have a cause of action. On the other hand, if you find yourself in the unenviable situation of being sued for a tort, you have a right to defend yourself, and will likely want to, for obvious reasons.
Whatever your situation, a tort lawyer who has expertise in representing people in Dothan, Alabama tort cases can advise you on the best way to proceed, and give you the best chance of winning your case, whatever side you're on.