Litigation Lawyers in Santa Monica
In Santa Monica, California, a "tort" is defined as any civil wrong, besides breach of contract, for which the law provides a remedy.
In Santa Monica, 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."
Santa Monica, 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 Santa Monica, California
Negligence: This is by far the tort that is most often dealt with in the courts of Santa Monica, 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 obvious example, and there are a practically infinite number of situations in which a negligence lawsuit can arise.
Fraud: In Santa Monica, California, fraud is a fairly common tort that the local court system has to deal with, though it may not be quite as common as negligence. To put it in the simplest terms possible, fraud is a deliberate lie that causes tangible harm (such as financial loss) to the person to whom the lie is told. Fraud is committed in a wide variety of contexts, but it most often occurs when someone is trying to sell a product for more than it's worth. They might lie to a prospective buyer about the product's quality or value. If the buyer relies on this misrepresentation when deciding to buy the product, they are the victim of fraud, and have a right to sue the seller for their financial losses, and possibly recover punitive damages.
element of battery is pretty straightforward: if you engage in physical contact with another that causes pain and/or injury, you've committed battery. It's important to note that the contact does not need to be harmful to amount to battery - it can also be offensive. What constitutes "offensive" contact is largely subjective, and unless the conduct is truly sleazy (unwanted sexual contact, for example), a battery lawsuit is pretty unlikely to result. One of the more severe forms of battery can occur when a patient is in surgery, and the surgeon, for whatever reason, operates on the wrong body part. Because the patient did not consent to this contact, the surgeon has committed a severe form of battery.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress: This is a tort in Santa Monica, California that involves emotional distress, and does not require physical harm or financial loss. It is also known by the acronym IIED. IIED is committed when a person engages in outrageous conduct towards another, with the intent of causing emotional distress, and actually causes the intended distress.
How Can A Santa Monica, California Tort Lawyer Help?
If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in Santa Monica, 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 liable, you have every right to defend yourself in court.
In either of those cases, you will almost certainly benefit from the counsel of a competent tort lawyer in Santa Monica, California. In addition to improving your chances of winning your case, should it go to trial, a good lawyer will also make every effort to prevent the issue from going to trial in the first place, by attempting to negotiate a settlement with the other side that's acceptable to both parties.