Litigation Lawyers in Greenfield
A "tort" is specified in Greenfield, Massachusetts as a legal wrong, not criminal in nature, for which the law provides compensation to the victim.
In Greenfield, 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 Greenfield, 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 Greenfield, Massachusetts
Negligence: This is by far the tort that is most frequently dealt with in the courts of Greenfield, 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 discernible example, and there are a practically infinite number of situations in which a negligence lawsuit can arise.
Fraud: In Greenfield, Massachusetts, fraud is a fairly prevalent tort that the local court system has to deal with, though it may not be quite as prevalent 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 happens 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 essential 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 grave 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, also known as IIED, was not recognized in Greenfield, Massachusetts as a legitimate tort until the early to mid 20th Century. Nonetheless, since it became available as a cause of action, it has become one of the most common sources of civil litigation in the tort context. IIED is committed when a person engages in "outrageous" conduct towards another person, with actual intent of causing mental trauma or distress, and then truly causes the intended result. Physical injuries are not necessary to prove IIED, but if the emotional trauma is so severe that it causes physical symptoms (such as a heart attack, in the most extreme cases), the defendant will be liable for them, as well.
How Can A Greenfield, Massachusetts Tort Lawyer Help?
If somebody has injured you, either intentionally or negligently, in Greenfield, 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 likely want to, for apparent reasons.
In both instances, a reliable Greenfield, 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.