Litigation Lawyers in Norwalk
In Norwalk, California, a "tort" is defined as any civil wrong, besides breach of contract, for which the law provides a remedy.
In Norwalk, California, a tort is basically 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."
Norwalk, California'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 Norwalk, California
Negligence: Negligence is by far the most prevalent tort that results in litigation in Norwalk, California. 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: Unlike negligence, fraud is an intentional tort. Like negligence, courts in Norwalk, California deal with it quite frequently. 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 happens 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 case, 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 Norwalk, California 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. 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 Norwalk, California, 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. 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 Norwalk, California Tort Lawyer Help?
If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in Norwalk, California, 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 responsible, you have every right to defend yourself in court.
Whatever your situation, a tort lawyer who has experience in representing people in Norwalk, 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.