Litigation Lawyers in Wheeling
If you have been wronged by someone in Wheeling, West Virginia, 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 Wheeling, West Virginia 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."
Wheeling, West Virginia's laws recognize many different torts. However, the civil litigation system only deals with a few of these dozens of torts with any frequency. While the most obscure torts are occasionally litigated, there are only a small amount that the average person is likely to deal with (either as a plaintiff or defendant) at some point in their lives. They include fraud, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and battery.
Types of Torts in Wheeling, West Virginia
Negligence: In Wheeling, West Virginia, 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 in Wheeling, West Virginia is another fairly frequent tort. It is a deliberate misrepresentation made for personal gain, at the expense of another. It usually involves selling a product to a person, while lying about the product's nature. If the buyer relies on the false information in making their purchasing decision, they are a victim of fraud, and can sue the person who defrauded them to recover their losses.
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, particularly of a sexual nature, is considered offensive by just about everyone, and would also be considered battery even if it causes no physical injuries. Occasionally, a doctor will operate on the wrong body part, which the patient did not consent to be operated on. And, occasionally, 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 Wheeling, West Virginia, 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 show 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 Wheeling, West Virginia Tort Lawyer Help?
If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in Wheeling, West Virginia, 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 accountable, you have every right to defend yourself in court.
In both examples, a brilliant Wheeling, West Virginia 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.