Litigation Lawyers in Madison
If you have been wronged by someone in Madison, Wisconsin, and have sustained a tangible loss as a result, you may have been the victim of a "tort," and entitled to pursue compensation from the person who wronged you, through the legal system.
Typically, any bad act in Madison, 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 Madison, 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 Madison, Wisconsin
Negligence: In Madison, Wisconsin, negligence is the most frequently-litigated tort. It is defined as a failure to act (in any situation) with a reasonable level of care, and causing harm as a result of that carelessness. For instance, if a store that's open to the public fails to remove ice from its front entrance, or put up any kind of warning, even though it knows that the ice is there, it is not exercising reasonable care. If anyone is injured as a result, the store owner will likely be required to compensate them for their injuries. This is, obviously, just an example.
Fraud: Unlike negligence, fraud is an intentional tort. Like negligence, courts in Madison, Wisconsin deal with it quite often. Put simply, fraud is a lie told for personal gain. It requires an affirmative misrepresentation, which the speaker knows to be false, intended to induce the victim to render some benefit to the speaker, which causes actual harm (such as financial loss) to the victim. It occurs most frequently when somebody is trying to sell something for more than it's worth, and lies about the nature or value of the product to the buyer. If the buyer relies on the seller's false statements of fact in making the decision to buy the product, the seller has committed fraud. In such a situation, the buyer is legally entitled to compensation for the harm suffered as a result of the fraud.
Battery: Battery is defined by the law of Madison, 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 directly 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 typically any physical contact that violates one's sense of personal dignity constitutes battery, and the victim could technically sue over it. Nonetheless, in most cases like that, the plaintiff hasn't sustained 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: This is a tort in Madison, Wisconsin that involves emotional distress, and does not need physical harm or financial loss. It is also known by the acronym IIED. IIED is committed when a person engages in outrageous conduct towards another, with the intent of causing emotional distress, and directly causes the intended distress.
How Can A Madison, Wisconsin Tort Lawyer Help?
If someone has committed a tort against in you Madison, Wisconsin, you have a legal power to seek compensation. Moreover, if someone has sued you, alleging that you committed a tort, you have a right to mount a legal defense.
In both cases, a reliable Madison, 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.