Litigation Lawyers in Madison
In Madison, Alabama, a "tort" is defined as any civil wrong, besides breach of contract, for which the law provides a remedy.
Basically, any bad act in Madison, Alabama that gives you the legal right to sue the person who committed the act, is a tort. Your specific right to sue is called a "cause of action."
The law of Madison, Alabama recognizes many dozen different torts, but only a few of them are really litigated with any frequency, and many of them are relics of a bygone age. However, there are a few torts that are litigated very commonly. These torts are negligence, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and battery.
Types of Torts in Madison, Alabama
Negligence: Negligence is the most commonly-litigated tort in Madison, Alabama's civil litigation system. Negligence occurs when somebody does not exercise the level of care that a "reasonable person" would exercise in a similar situation, and causes an injury as a direct result. As an example, most people know that running a stop sign at high speed is very careless, and no reasonable person would be expected to do such a thing. Doing so clearly falls below the ordinary standard of care. So, if a person runs a stop sign at high speed, and hits another car, causing injuries and property damage, they will be liable to the person they harmed for the cost of whatever harm they caused.
Fraud: Fraud is an intentional tort, unlike negligence. It is also dealt with fairly often by courts in Madison, Alabama. Fraud is a lie that one person tells to another, with the intent to harm the other person, normally by inducing them to give money or property to the person committing the fraud. Fraud can occur in a wide variety of different contexts. For example, suppose a jeweler tries to sell a fake diamond to a customer, by passing it off as the real thing. If the customer believes the jeweler's lie, and bases his buying decision on it, the jeweler has committed fraud. If the customer discovers this fraud, he will be able to sue the jeweler, and recover, at the very least, the difference between the value of the fake diamond, and what he paid for it.
Battery: The law in Madison, 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 clearly amount to battery, since it is harmful, unless it happens 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: This is a tort in Madison, Alabama that involves emotional distress, and does not require physical harm or financial loss. It is also known by the acronym IIED. IIED is committed when a person engages in outrageous conduct towards another, with the intent of causing emotional distress, and really causes the intended distress.
How Can A Madison, Alabama Tort Lawyer Help?
If someone has committed a tort against in you Madison, Alabama, you have a legal right to seek compensation. Additionally, if someone has sued you, alleging that you committed a tort, you have a right to mount a legal defense.
In both situations, a brilliant Madison, Alabama tort lawyer will probably prove indispensable. The best thing you can do early in the process is make a good-faith effort to negotiate a settlement with the other side, to prevent the matter from going to trial in the first place, which will often prove more costly than settling. Most tort lawyers are also skilled negotiators, and will be able to help you on this front, too.