Litigation Lawyers in Alton
In Alton, Illinois, a "tort" is specified as any civil wrong, besides breach of contract, for which the law provides a remedy.
When a tort is committed in Alton, Illinois, 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."
Alton, Illinois's laws recognize many different torts. Nonetheless, the civil litigation system only deals with a few of these dozens of torts with any frequency. While the most obscure torts are sometimes litigated, there are only a small amount that the ordinary 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 Alton, Illinois
Negligence: Negligence is by far the most common tort that results in litigation in Alton, Illinois. Negligence is a failure to exercise the amount of care appropriate for a certain situation, and causing harm to someone else as a result of this carelessness. For instance, 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 instance, and negligence can occur in practically any context.
Fraud: In Alton, Illinois, fraud is a fairly common tort that the local court system has to deal with, though it may not be quite as common as negligence. To put it in the simplest terms possible, fraud is a deliberate lie that causes tangible harm (such as financial loss) to the person to whom the lie is told. Fraud is committed in a wide variety of contexts, but it most often happens when someone is trying to sell a product for more than it's worth. They might lie to a prospective buyer about the product's quality or value. If the buyer relies on this misrepresentation when deciding to buy the product, they are the victim of fraud, and have a right to sue the seller for their financial losses, and possibly recover punitive damages.
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 important 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 grave 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: Intentional infliction of emotional distress, also known as IIED, was not recognized in Alton, Illinois as a legitimate tort until the early to mid 20th Century. Nonetheless, since it became available as a cause of action, it has become one of the most common sources of civil litigation in the tort context. IIED is committed when a person engages in "outrageous" conduct towards another person, with actual intent of causing mental trauma or distress, and then actually causes the intended result. Physical injuries are not necessary to prove IIED, but if the emotional trauma is so severe that it causes physical symptoms (such as a heart attack, in the most extreme cases), the defendant will be liable for them, as well.
How Can A Alton, Illinois Tort Lawyer Help?
If somebody has harmed you, either intentionally or negligently, in Alton, Illinois, you might have a cause of action. On the other hand, if you find yourself in the unenviable situation of being sued for a tort, you have a right to defend yourself, and will likely want to, for obvious reasons.
Whatever your situation, a tort lawyer who has expertise in representing people in Alton, Illinois 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.