Litigation Lawyers in St. Petersburg
In St. Petersburg, Florida, a "tort" is defined as any civil wrong, besides breach of contract, for which the law provides a remedy.
In St. Petersburg, Florida, when a tort is committed, and the victim of the tort is vested with a right to sue the person who committed the tort, they are said to have a "cause of action."
The law of St. Petersburg, Florida recognizes several dozen different torts, but only a few of them are actually litigated with any frequency, and many of them are relics of a bygone age. However, there are a few torts that are litigated very often. These torts are negligence, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and battery.
Types of Torts in St. Petersburg, Florida
Negligence: Negligence is the most often-litigated tort in St. Petersburg, Florida's civil litigation system. Negligence occurs when somebody does not exercise the level of care that a "reasonable person" would exercise in a similar situation, and causes an injury as a direct result. As an example, most people know that running a stop sign at high speed is very careless, and no reasonable person would be expected to do such a thing. Doing so clearly falls below the ordinary standard of care. So, if a person runs a stop sign at high speed, and hits another car, causing injuries and property damage, they will be liable to the person they harmed for the cost of whatever harm they caused.
Fraud: Fraud in St. Petersburg, Florida 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.
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 necessary 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: Intentional infliction of emotional distress, or IIED, is a relatively new tort in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is committed when someone deliberately causes emotional distress or trauma to another person by engaging in outrageous conduct, with the intent of causing such distress. Note that the defendant does not need to cause physical injuries to the plaintiff to be liable for IIED, but the plaintiff does have to produce evidence that they suffered emotional distress. This evidence usually comes in the form of a report from a psychiatrist who evaluated the plaintiff's mental condition.
How Can A St. Petersburg, Florida Tort Lawyer Help?
If somebody has harmed you, either intentionally or negligently, in St. Petersburg, Florida, 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 both situations, a good St. Petersburg, Florida tort lawyer will probably prove indispensable. The best thing you can do early in the process is make a good-faith effort to negotiate a settlement with the other side, to prevent the matter from going to trial in the first place, which will often prove more costly than settling. Most tort lawyers are also skilled negotiators, and will be able to help you on this front, too.