Litigation Lawyers in Petaluma
In Petaluma, California, a "tort" is specified as any civil wrong, besides breach of contract, for which the law provides a remedy.
In Petaluma, 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."
Petaluma, California's laws recognize many different torts. Nonetheless, the civil litigation system only deals with a few of these dozens of torts with any frequency. While the most obscure torts are sometimes litigated, there are only a small amount that the ordinary 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 Petaluma, California
Negligence: This is by far the tort that is most often dealt with in the courts of Petaluma, California. Put simply, negligence is a failure to exercise a reasonable amount of care, and causing harm to someone as a result. For instance, driving 30 miles per hour over the speed limit is obviously very careless. So, if you are driving that fast, and your speed causes you to get into an accident that harms someone else (either their body or their property), you have committed negligence, and will be obligated to compensate the victim for the harm that you caused. You should know, however, that this is just an obvious example, and there are a practically infinite number of situations in which a negligence lawsuit can arise.
Fraud: Fraud in Petaluma, California is another fairly common tort. It is a deliberate misrepresentation made for personal gain, at the expense of another. It typically 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.
Battery: The law in Petaluma, California defines battery as any harmful or offensive contact by one person, with the body of another person, without the consent of the victim. Any punch, kick, strike, or slap would precisely amount to battery, since it is harmful, unless it occurs in a context where the person being battered consented to it (a lawful boxing match, for example). However, conduct that doesn't cause any physical harm, but is "offensive," can also be considered battery. This most often comes up when one person initiates unwanted sexual contact with another.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress: Intentional infliction of emotional distress is also called IIED in Petaluma, 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. 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 Petaluma, California Tort Lawyer Help?
If somebody has harmed you, either intentionally or negligently, in Petaluma, 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 obvious reasons.
In either case, a Petaluma, California attorney who is experienced 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.