Litigation Lawyers in St. John
In St. John, Missouri, a "tort" is any wrongful act, besides a breach of contract or a crime, that the legal system can remedy.
Basically, a tort in St. John, Missouri is any wrongful action committed by one person against another, which gives the victim of the wrongdoing the legal right to sue the wrongdoer. This is identified as a "cause of action."
In St. John, Missouri, there are laws and court rulings that recognize scores of different torts. Many of these torts are very obscure, and are almost never litigated. In the modern era, the torts that the average person is most likely to face are fraud, negligence, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Types of Torts in St. John, Missouri
Negligence: Negligence is the most frequently-litigated tort in St. John, Missouri's civil litigation system. Negligence occurs when somebody does not exercise the level of care that a "reasonable person" would exercise in a similar situation, and causes an injury as a direct result. As an example, most people know that running a stop sign at high speed is very careless, and no reasonable person would be expected to do such a thing. Doing so clearly falls below the ordinary standard of care. So, if a person runs a stop sign at high speed, and hits another car, causing injuries and property damage, they will be liable to the person they harmed for the cost of whatever harm they caused.
Fraud: Fraud is an intentional tort, unlike negligence. It is also dealt with fairly often by courts in St. John, Missouri. Fraud is a lie that one person tells to another, with the intent to harm the other person, typically by inducing them to give money or property to the person committing the fraud. Fraud can occur in a wide variety of different contexts. For example, suppose a jeweler tries to sell a fake diamond to a customer, by passing it off as the real thing. If the customer believes the jeweler's lie, and bases his buying decision on it, the jeweler has committed fraud. If the customer discovers this fraud, he will be able to sue the jeweler, and recover, at the very least, the difference between the value of the fake diamond, and what he paid for it.
harmful or offensive, and non-consensual. For example, slapping someone on the face would be a clear case of battery, because that contact is harmful, and probably offensive as well. Unwanted physical conduct, particularly of a sexual nature, is considered offensive by just about everyone, and would also be considered battery even if it causes no physical injuries. Occasionally, a doctor will operate on the wrong body part, which the patient did not consent to be operated on. And, occasionally, doctors have performed entire operations while the patient was unconscious, which the patient didn't consent to. This is also battery, and can result in a very costly lawsuit for the doctor, though such cases are quite rare.
Intentional infliction of emotional distress: Also known as IIED in St. John, Missouri, intentional infliction of emotional distress is a fairly new cause of action, having not been recognized until the 20th century. In order to succeed in an IIED lawsuit, the plaintiff has to establish 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 directly 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.
How Can A St. John, Missouri Tort Lawyer Help?
If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in St. John, Missouri, 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 responsible, you have every right to defend yourself in court.
In both situations, a knowledgeable St. John, Missouri 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.