Litigation Lawyers in Columbus
If you have been wronged by someone in Columbus, Wisconsin, and have suffered a tangible loss as a result, you may have been the victim of a "tort," and entitled to obtain compensation from the person who wronged you, through the legal system.
Basically, any bad act in Columbus, Wisconsin that gives you the legal right to sue the person who committed the act, is a tort. Your specific right to sue is called a "cause of action."
The law in Columbus, Wisconsin recognizes dozens of different torts. Some of them are fairly obscure, and don't come up often, and are largely relics of the common law. The torts that a person is most likely to deal with at some point in his or her life are negligence, fraud, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Types of Torts in Columbus, Wisconsin
Negligence: In Columbus, Wisconsin, negligence is, far and away, the most frequent 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 evident, where negligence can occur.
Fraud: Fraud is another frequent tort litigated in Columbus, Wisconsin courts. Fraud is defined as the deliberate misrepresentation of facts made for financial, or other personal gain, which causes harm to someone else. Normally, 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 normally receive the difference between the fair market value of the thing they bought, and what they paid for it.
Battery: Battery is defined by the law of Columbus, Wisconsin 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 really 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 basically any physical contact that violates one's sense of personal dignity constitutes battery, and the victim could technically sue over it. However, in most cases like that, the plaintiff hasn't suffered 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 Columbus, Wisconsin, 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. Additionally, it must be shown that this conduct directly caused severe emotional distress in the plaintiff, and that that was the defendant's intent. Showing 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 Columbus, Wisconsin Tort Lawyer Help?
If someone has committed a tort against in you Columbus, Wisconsin, you have a legal authority to seek compensation. Additionally, if someone has sued you, alleging that you committed a tort, you have a right to mount a legal defense.
In either case, a Columbus, Wisconsin attorney who is accomplished in handling tort cases will be able to help. Your lawyer can advise you on the best trial strategy, should the case go to trial, and negotiate with the other side, to try and reach a resolution that both parties can live with.