Opelika Tort Lawyers

Tort Lawyers in Opelika, AL

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In Opelika, Alabama, a "tort" is defined as any civil wrong, besides breach of contract, for which the law provides a remedy.

Typically, any bad act in Opelika, 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."

Opelika, Alabama's laws recognize many different torts. However, the civil litigation system only deals with a few of these dozens of torts with any frequency. While the most obscure torts are occasionally litigated, there are only a small amount that the average person is likely to deal with (either as a plaintiff or defendant) at some point in their lives. They include fraud, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and battery.

Types of Torts in Opelika, Alabama

Negligence: Negligence is by far the most prevalent tort that results in litigation in Opelika, Alabama. Negligence is a failure to exercise the amount of care appropriate for a given situation, and causing harm to someone else as a result of this carelessness. For example, running a red light is inherently careless. If you run a red light, and cause personal injury or property damage, you are liable for the harm you caused. Of course, this is just one example, and negligence can occur in essentially any context.

Fraud: Fraud is another prevalent tort litigated in Opelika, Alabama courts. Fraud is defined as the deliberate misrepresentation of facts made for financial, or other personal gain, which causes harm to someone else. Typically, fraud is committed when a product or service is sold, and the seller lies about the nature or quality of the thing being sold. If, in deciding to buy what the fraudster is selling, the victim relies on the false statements, the seller has committed fraud. The buyer can then sue the seller, to seek compensation for their losses. At the very least, they will typically receive the difference between the fair market value of the thing they bought, and what they paid for it.

Battery: Battery is defined by the law of Opelika, Alabama as any contact by one person, with the body of another, which is offensive or harmful. Any conduct that causes physical injury, pain, or emotional distress is battery. Also, you do not need to directly touch a person with your own body to commit battery - simply directing harmful contact (say, by throwing a rock) toward another person is sufficient to create liability for battery. Battery can also arise from "offensive" contact, which is typically any physical contact that violates one's sense of personal dignity constitutes battery, and the victim could technically sue over it. However, in most cases like that, the plaintiff hasn't suffered any real harm, and will only be able to recover nominal damages, which would be far, far less than the cost of filing a lawsuit.

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress: Intentional infliction of emotional distress is also called IIED in Opelika, Alabama, and it was not recognized 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. Moreover, it must be shown that this conduct directly caused severe emotional distress in the plaintiff, and that that was the defendant's intent. Establishing 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.

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How Can A Opelika, Alabama Tort Lawyer Help?

If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in Opelika, Alabama, you have a right to go to court and attempt to prove your case. On the other hand, if you find that you are being sued for a tort, and believe that you aren't responsible, you have every right to defend yourself in court.

In either case, a Opelika, Alabama tort lawyer will be able to advise you of your rights, and ensure that you have the best possible chance of prevailing in your case.

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