Litigation Lawyers in Fairhaven
A "tort" is defined in Fairhaven, Massachusetts as a legal wrong, not criminal in nature, for which the law provides compensation to the victim.
In Fairhaven, Massachusetts, 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 in Fairhaven, Massachusetts recognizes dozens of different torts. Some of them are fairly obscure, and don't come up often, and are largely relics of the common law. The torts that a person is most likely to deal with at some point in his or her life are negligence, fraud, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Types of Torts in Fairhaven, Massachusetts
Negligence: This is by far the tort that is most often dealt with in the courts of Fairhaven, 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 required to compensate the victim for the harm that you caused. You should know, however, that this is just an apparent example, and there are a practically infinite number of situations in which a negligence lawsuit can arise.
Fraud: In Fairhaven, Massachusetts, 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.
Battery: The law in Fairhaven, 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 clearly 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, or IIED, is a relatively new tort in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. 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 Fairhaven, Massachusetts Tort Lawyer Help?
If somebody has harmed you, either intentionally or negligently, in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, 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 examples, a good Fairhaven, 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.