Litigation Lawyers in West Des Moines
In West Des Moines, Iowa, a "tort" is defined as any civil wrong, besides breach of contract, for which the law provides a remedy.
When a tort is committed in West Des Moines, Iowa, thereby giving the victim the legal right to sue the person who allegedly harmed them, the victim's right to sue is known as a "cause of action."
The law of West Des Moines, Iowa 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 West Des Moines, Iowa
Negligence: In West Des Moines, Iowa, 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 in West Des Moines, Iowa is another fairly common tort. It is a deliberate misrepresentation made for personal gain, at the expense of another. It typically involves selling a product to a person, while lying about the product's nature. If the buyer relies on the false information in making their purchasing decision, they are a victim of fraud, and can sue the person who defrauded them to recover their losses.
Battery: Battery is defined by the law of West Des Moines, Iowa 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 actually 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 essentially 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 West Des Moines, Iowa, 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 West Des Moines, Iowa Tort Lawyer Help?
If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in West Des Moines, Iowa, 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.
Whatever your situation, a tort lawyer who has experience in representing people in West Des Moines, Iowa 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.