Litigation Lawyers in South Hadley
A "tort" is defined in South Hadley, Massachusetts as a legal wrong, not criminal in nature, for which the law provides compensation to the victim.
In South Hadley, 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 South Hadley, 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 South Hadley, Massachusetts
Negligence: Negligence is the most often-litigated tort in South Hadley, Massachusetts'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 is another common tort litigated in South Hadley, Massachusetts courts. Fraud is defined as the deliberate misrepresentation of facts made for financial, or other personal gain, which causes harm to someone else. Usually, fraud is committed when a product or service is sold, and the seller lies about the nature or quality of the thing being sold. If, in deciding to buy what the fraudster is selling, the victim relies on the false statements, the seller has committed fraud. The buyer can then sue the seller, to seek compensation for their losses. At the very least, they will usually receive the difference between the fair market value of the thing they bought, and what they paid for it.
Battery: The law in South Hadley, 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: Also known as IIED in South Hadley, 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 show 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 South Hadley, Massachusetts Tort Lawyer Help?
If someone has committed a tort against in you South Hadley, Massachusetts, you have a legal right to seek compensation. Furthermore, if someone has sued you, alleging that you committed a tort, you have a right to mount a legal defense.
In either case, a South Hadley, Massachusetts attorney who is experienced in handling tort cases will be able to help. Your lawyer can advise you on the best trial strategy, should the case go to trial, and negotiate with the other side, to try and reach a resolution that both parties can live with.