Litigation Lawyers in Hattiesburg
In Hattiesburg, Mississippi, a "tort" is any wrongful act, besides a breach of contract or a crime, that the legal system can remedy.
Basically, a tort in Hattiesburg, Mississippi 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."
Hattiesburg, Mississippi's laws recognize many different torts. However, the civil litigation system only deals with a few of these dozens of torts with any frequency. While the most obscure torts are occasionally litigated, there are only a small amount that the average 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 Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Negligence: In Hattiesburg, Mississippi, negligence is, far and away, the most prevalent tort that the civil litigation system has to deal with. Negligence is a failure to exercise the level of caution that's necessary in a given situation, and causing harm (physical injury or property damage) as a direct result of this failure. An obvious example is drunk driving. If a person is drunk behind the wheel, and causes an accident, they are clearly going to be required to compensate the victim for whatever harm they cause, since driving while intoxicated is extremely careless, and everybody should know this. Of course, there are many other situations, most of them far less apparent, where negligence can occur.
Fraud: Fraud is another prevalent tort litigated in Hattiesburg, Mississippi courts. Fraud is defined as the deliberate misrepresentation of facts made for financial, or other personal gain, which causes harm to someone else. Typically, 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 typically receive the difference between the fair market value of the thing they bought, and what they paid for it.
Battery: Battery in Hattiesburg, Mississippi 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 virtually 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 Hattiesburg, Mississippi, 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. 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 Hattiesburg, Mississippi Tort Lawyer Help?
If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, 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 either of those cases, you will almost certainly benefit from the counsel of a competent tort lawyer in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. In addition to improving your chances of winning your case, should it go to trial, a knowledgeable 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.