Litigation Lawyers in West Allis
If you have been wronged by someone in West Allis, Wisconsin, and have suffered a tangible loss as a result, you may have been the victim of a "tort," and entitled to seek compensation from the person who wronged you, through the legal system.
Essentially, any bad act in West Allis, 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 of West Allis, Wisconsin recognizes several dozen different torts, but only a few of them are actually litigated with any frequency, and many of them are relics of a bygone age. However, there are a few torts that are litigated very often. These torts are negligence, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and battery.
Types of Torts in West Allis, Wisconsin
Negligence: Negligence is by far the most common tort that results in litigation in West Allis, Wisconsin. Negligence is a failure to exercise the amount of care appropriate for a given situation, and causing harm to someone else as a result of this carelessness. For example, running a red light is inherently careless. If you run a red light, and cause personal injury or property damage, you are liable for the harm you caused. Of course, this is just one example, and negligence can occur in virtually any context.
Fraud: Fraud is another common tort litigated in West Allis, Wisconsin courts. Fraud is defined as the deliberate misrepresentation of facts made for financial, or other personal gain, which causes harm to someone else. Usually, 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 usually 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 West Allis, 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 actually 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 essentially 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 West Allis, 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. Furthermore, it must be shown that this conduct directly caused severe emotional distress in the plaintiff, and that that was the defendant's intent. Proving 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 West Allis, Wisconsin Tort Lawyer Help?
If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in West Allis, Wisconsin, you have a right to go to court and attempt 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 liable, you have every right to defend yourself in court.
In either of those cases, you will almost certainly benefit from the counsel of a competent tort lawyer in West Allis, Wisconsin. In addition to improving your chances of winning your case, should it go to trial, a good lawyer will also make every effort to prevent the issue from going to trial in the first place, by attempting to negotiate a settlement with the other side that's acceptable to both parties.