Litigation Lawyers in Eau Claire
If you have been wronged by someone in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and have sustained 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 Eau Claire, Wisconsin that gives you the legal right to sue the person who committed the act, is a tort. Your particular right to sue is called a "cause of action."
The law in Eau Claire, Wisconsin 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 Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Negligence: In Eau Claire, 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 particular 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 very careless, and everybody should know this. Of course, there are many other cases, most of them far less evident, where negligence can occur.
Fraud: Fraud is an intentional tort, unlike negligence. It is also dealt with fairly frequently by courts in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Fraud is a lie that one person tells to another, with the intent to harm the other person, normally 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 Eau Claire, Wisconsin, intentional infliction of emotional distress is a fairly new cause of action, having not been recognized until the 20th century. In order to win in an IIED lawsuit, the plaintiff has to show 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 really 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 Eau Claire, Wisconsin Tort Lawyer Help?
If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 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 accountable, you have every right to defend yourself in court.
In both cases, a seasoned Eau Claire, Wisconsin 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.