Litigation Lawyers in St. Joseph
A "tort" is specified in St. Joseph, Illinois as a legal wrong, not criminal in nature, for which the law provides compensation to the victim.
Essentially, a tort in St. Joseph, Illinois is any wrongful action committed by one individual against another, which gives the victim of the wrongdoing the legal right to sue the wrongdoer. This is identified as a "cause of action."
St. Joseph, 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 St. Joseph, Illinois
Negligence: This is by far the tort that is most frequently dealt with in the courts of St. Joseph, Illinois. Put simply, negligence is a failure to exercise a reasonable amount of care, and causing harm to someone as a result. For instance, driving 30 miles per hour over the speed limit is obviously very careless. So, if you are driving that fast, and your speed causes you to get into an accident that harms someone else (either their body or their property), you have committed negligence, and will be obligated to compensate the victim for the harm that you caused. You should know, however, that this is just an evident example, and there are a practically infinite number of situations in which a negligence lawsuit can arise.
Fraud: Unlike negligence, fraud is an intentional tort. Like negligence, courts in St. Joseph, Illinois deal with it quite often. 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 occurs most frequently 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 situation, the buyer is legally entitled to compensation for the harm suffered as a result of the fraud.
Battery: Battery is defined by the law of St. Joseph, Illinois 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. Nonetheless, in most cases like that, the plaintiff hasn't sustained 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 St. Joseph, Illinois, and it was not identified 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.
How Can A St. Joseph, Illinois Tort Lawyer Help?
If someone has committed a tort against in you St. Joseph, Illinois, you have a legal option to seek compensation. Moreover, if someone has sued you, alleging that you committed a tort, you have a right to mount a legal defense.
In either of those situations, you will almost definitely benefit from the counsel of a competent tort lawyer in St. Joseph, Illinois. In addition to improving your chances of winning your case, should it go to trial, a reliable 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.