Litigation Lawyers in Chelmsford
A "tort" is specified in Chelmsford, Massachusetts as a legal wrong, not criminal in nature, for which the law provides compensation to the victim.
In Chelmsford, Massachusetts, when a tort is committed, and the victim of the tort is vested with a right to sue the individual who committed the tort, they are said to have a "cause of action."
The law in Chelmsford, Massachusetts recognizes dozens of different torts. Some of them are fairly obscure, and don't come up frequently, and are largely relics of the common law. The torts that a person is most likely to deal with at some time in his or her life are negligence, fraud, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Types of Torts in Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Negligence: This is by far the tort that is most often dealt with in the courts of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. 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 is an intentional tort, unlike negligence. It is also dealt with fairly frequently by courts in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Fraud is a lie that one person tells to another, with the intent to harm the other person, usually by inducing them to give money or property to the person committing the fraud. Fraud can occur in a wide number of different contexts. For instance, suppose a jeweler tries to sell a fake diamond to a customer, by passing it off as the real thing. If the customer believes the jeweler's lie, and bases his buying decision on it, the jeweler has committed fraud. If the customer discovers this fraud, he will be able to sue the jeweler, and recover, at the very least, the difference between the value of the fake diamond, and what he paid for it.
Battery: The law in Chelmsford, Massachusetts 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: Also known as IIED in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, intentional infliction of emotional distress is a fairly new cause of action, having not been recognized until the 20th century. In order to prevail in an IIED lawsuit, the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant engaged in some kind of "outrageous" conduct, which was severe enough to "shock the conscience" of a reasonable person. They must also prove that the defendant actually intended to cause emotional distress, and did, in fact, cause severe emotional distress. Proving that the plaintiff suffered trauma or distress as a result of the defendant's conduct is not as easy as it may sound, and usually requires the testimony of a psychiatric professional who has examined the plaintiff.
How Can A Chelmsford, Massachusetts Tort Lawyer Help?
If you have been the victim of a tort in , Massachusetts, you have the option to seek legal redress. And if you have been sued for a tort, you have a right to defend yourself.
In both instances, a reputable Chelmsford, Massachusetts 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.