Litigation Lawyers in Rancho Santa Margarita
In Rancho Santa Margarita, California, a "tort" is defined as any civil wrong, besides breach of contract, for which the law provides a remedy.
In Rancho Santa Margarita, 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."
Rancho Santa Margarita, 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 Rancho Santa Margarita, California
Negligence: This is by far the tort that is most often dealt with in the courts of Rancho Santa Margarita, 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 required to compensate the victim for the harm that you caused. You should know, however, that this is just an discernible example, and there are a practically infinite number of situations in which a negligence lawsuit can arise.
Fraud: Unlike negligence, fraud is an intentional tort. Like negligence, courts in Rancho Santa Margarita, 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 often 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 in Rancho Santa Margarita, 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 essentially 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 Rancho Santa Margarita, 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. 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 Rancho Santa Margarita, California Tort Lawyer Help?
If somebody has harmed you, either intentionally or negligently, in Rancho Santa Margarita, 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 probably want to, for obvious reasons.
In either case, a Rancho Santa Margarita, 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.