Litigation Lawyers in Middleton
If you have been wronged by someone in Middleton, 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 Middleton, 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 Middleton, 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 Middleton, Wisconsin
Negligence: In Middleton, Wisconsin, negligence is the most often-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 example, 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 someone 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: In Middleton, Wisconsin, fraud is a fairly frequent tort that the local court system has to deal with, though it may not be quite as frequent as negligence. To put it in the simplest terms possible, fraud is a deliberate lie that causes tangible harm (such as financial loss) to the person to whom the lie is told. Fraud is committed in a wide variety of contexts, but it most often occurs when someone is trying to sell a product for more than it's worth. They might lie to a prospective buyer about the product's quality or value. If the buyer relies on this misrepresentation when deciding to buy the product, they are the victim of fraud, and have a right to sue the seller for their financial losses, and possibly recover punitive damages.
Battery: Battery in Middleton, Wisconsin 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 Middleton, 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 Middleton, Wisconsin Tort Lawyer Help?
If someone has committed a tort against in you Middleton, Wisconsin, you have a legal right 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 Middleton, 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.