Litigation Lawyers in Yankton
A "tort" in Yankton, South Dakota is essentially any legally-recognized harm for which the victim is legally entitled to pursue compensation from the perpetrator.
In Yankton, South Dakota, a tort is essentially any bad thing that one person can do to another, which the law says the victim can sue over. This is called a "cause of action."
The law in Yankton, South Dakota recognizes dozens of different torts. Some of them are fairly obscure, and don't come up frequently, and are largely relics of the common law. The torts that a person is most likely to deal with at some time in his or her life are negligence, fraud, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Types of Torts in Yankton, South Dakota
Negligence: Negligence is the most frequently-litigated tort in Yankton, South Dakota'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 frequently by courts in Yankton, South Dakota. 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 number of different contexts. For instance, 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, especially of a sexual nature, is considered offensive by just about everyone, and would also be considered battery even if it causes no physical injuries. Sometimes, a doctor will operate on the wrong body part, which the patient did not consent to be operated on. And, sometimes, 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 Yankton, South Dakota, 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 prove 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 Yankton, South Dakota Tort Lawyer Help?
If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in Yankton, South Dakota, you have a right to go to court and try 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 instances, a reliable Yankton, South Dakota 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.