Litigation Lawyers in El Cerrito
In El Cerrito, California, a "tort" is specified as any civil wrong, besides breach of contract, for which the law provides a remedy.
In El Cerrito, California, a tort is essentially any bad thing that one person can do to another, which the law says the victim can sue over. This is called a "cause of action."
In El Cerrito, California, there are laws and court rulings that recognize scores of various torts. Many of these torts are very obscure, and are almost never litigated. In the modern era, the torts that the ordinary person is most likely to face are fraud, negligence, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Types of Torts in El Cerrito, California
Negligence: In El Cerrito, California, 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 El Cerrito, California 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 in El Cerrito, California 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 basically 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 El Cerrito, California, and it was not identified 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. Moreover, it must be shown that this conduct directly caused severe emotional distress in the plaintiff, and that that was the defendant's intent. Establishing 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 El Cerrito, California Tort Lawyer Help?
If somebody has injured you, either intentionally or negligently, in El Cerrito, California, you might have a cause of action. On the other hand, if you find yourself in the unenviable situation of being sued for a tort, you have a right to defend yourself, and will likely want to, for apparent reasons.
Whatever your situation, a tort lawyer who has expertise in representing people in El Cerrito, California tort cases can advise you on the best way to proceed, and give you the best chance of winning your case, whatever side you're on.