Litigation Lawyers in Southwick
A "tort" is specified in Southwick, Massachusetts as a legal wrong, not criminal in nature, for which the law provides compensation to the victim.
In Southwick, 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 Southwick, 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 Southwick, Massachusetts
Negligence: Negligence is the most often-litigated tort in Southwick, 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 Southwick, 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.
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 crucial 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 Southwick, 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 actually 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 Southwick, Massachusetts Tort Lawyer Help?
If someone has committed a tort against in you Southwick, Massachusetts, you have a legal power 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 both cases, a reputable Southwick, 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.