Prattville Tort Lawyers
In Prattville, Alabama, a "tort" is defined as any civil wrong, besides breach of contract, for which the law provides a remedy.
Essentially, any bad act in Prattville, 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."
Prattville, 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 Prattville, Alabama
Negligence: Negligence is by far the most common tort that results in litigation in Prattville, 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: Unlike negligence, fraud is an intentional tort. Like negligence, courts in Prattville, Alabama deal with it quite frequently. Put simply, fraud is a lie told for personal gain. It requires an affirmative misrepresentation, which the speaker knows to be false, intended to induce the victim to render some benefit to the speaker, which causes actual harm (such as financial loss) to the victim. It happens most often when somebody is trying to sell something for more than it's worth, and lies about the nature or value of the product to the buyer. If the buyer relies on the seller's false statements of fact in making the decision to buy the product, the seller has committed fraud. In such a case, the buyer is legally entitled to compensation for the harm suffered as a result of the fraud.
element of battery is pretty straightforward: if you engage in physical contact with another that causes pain and/or injury, you've committed battery. It's necessary to note that the contact does not need to be harmful to amount to battery - it can also be offensive. What constitutes "offensive" contact is largely subjective, and unless the conduct is truly sleazy (unwanted sexual contact, for example), a battery lawsuit is pretty unlikely to result. One of the more severe forms of battery can occur when a patient is in surgery, and the surgeon, for whatever reason, operates on the wrong body part. Because the patient did not consent to this contact, the surgeon has committed a severe form of battery.
Intentional infliction of emotional distress: Also known as IIED in Prattville, Alabama, intentional infliction of emotional distress is a fairly new cause of action, having not been recognized until the 20th century. In order to prevail in an IIED lawsuit, the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant engaged in some kind of "outrageous" conduct, which was severe enough to "shock the conscience" of a reasonable person. They must also show that the defendant actually intended to cause emotional distress, and did, in fact, cause severe emotional distress. Proving that the plaintiff suffered trauma or distress as a result of the defendant's conduct is not as easy as it may sound, and usually requires the testimony of a psychiatric professional who has examined the plaintiff.
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How Can A Prattville, Alabama Tort Lawyer Help?
If someone has committed a tort against in you Prattville, Alabama, you have a legal authority to seek compensation. Furthermore, if someone has sued you, alleging that you committed a tort, you have a right to mount a legal defense.
In both examples, a good Prattville, 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.