Litigation Lawyers in Surprise
In Surprise, Arizona, a "tort" is defined as any civil wrong, besides breach of contract, for which the law provides a remedy.
Essentially, any bad act in Surprise, Arizona 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."
Statutes and appellate court rulings in Surprise, Arizona recognize a very large number of different torts. However, most of these torts are largely relics of history, and are no longer litigated very often, if at all. There are only a few that the average person has a decent chance of dealing with at least once in their lives. They include, but aren't limited to, negligence, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and battery.
Types of Torts in Surprise, Arizona
Negligence: In Surprise, Arizona, 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 example, 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 someone 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: Fraud is another common tort litigated in Surprise, Arizona courts. Fraud is defined as the deliberate misrepresentation of facts made for financial, or other personal gain, which causes harm to someone else. Usually, 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 usually receive the difference between the fair market value of the thing they bought, and what they paid for it.
Battery: Battery in Surprise, Arizona is defined as any harmful or offensive contact with the person of another, without the victim's consent. Punching someone in the face would qualify as battery, as would essentially any unwanted physical contact, particularly of a sexual nature. It can also occur when a doctor operates on a body part without the patient's consent.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress: Intentional infliction of emotional distress is also called IIED in Surprise, Arizona, 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. 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 Surprise, Arizona Tort Lawyer Help?
If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in Surprise, Arizona, 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 liable, you have every right to defend yourself in court.
In either of those cases, you will almost certainly benefit from the counsel of a competent tort lawyer in Surprise, Arizona. In addition to improving your chances of winning your case, should it go to trial, a good lawyer will also make every effort to prevent the issue from going to trial in the first place, by attempting to negotiate a settlement with the other side that's acceptable to both parties.