Litigation Lawyers in Topsfield
A "tort" is defined in Topsfield, Massachusetts as a legal wrong, not criminal in nature, for which the law provides compensation to the victim.
In Topsfield, 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 Topsfield, 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 Topsfield, Massachusetts
Negligence: Negligence is the most often-litigated tort in Topsfield, 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: Unlike negligence, fraud is an intentional tort. Like negligence, courts in Topsfield, Massachusetts deal with it quite frequently. Put simply, fraud is a lie told for personal gain. It requires an affirmative misrepresentation, which the speaker knows to be false, intended to induce the victim to render some benefit to the speaker, which causes actual harm (such as financial loss) to the victim. It happens most often when somebody is trying to sell something for more than it's worth, and lies about the nature or value of the product to the buyer. If the buyer relies on the seller's false statements of fact in making the decision to buy the product, the seller has committed fraud. In such a case, the buyer is legally entitled to compensation for the harm suffered as a result of the fraud.
Battery: Battery in Topsfield, Massachusetts is defined as any harmful or offensive contact with the person of another, without the victim's consent. Punching someone in the face would qualify as battery, as would virtually any unwanted physical contact, particularly of a sexual nature. It can also occur when a doctor operates on a body part without the patient's consent.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress: Intentional infliction of emotional distress is also called IIED in Topsfield, Massachusetts, and it was not recognized as a valid cause of action until fairly recently (for the longest time, physical harm was a requirement before someone could sue for tort damages). To hold a defendant liable for IIED, it must be shown that the defendant engaged in some type of outrageous conduct, targeted at the plaintiff. Furthermore, it must be shown that this conduct directly caused severe emotional distress in the plaintiff, and that that was the defendant's intent. Proving that actual emotional distress occurred is the most difficult element of this tort, and the plaintiff's word is far from sufficient. It often requires intensive examination by a psychiatrist, who will then testify as to the plaintiff's mental state.
How Can A Topsfield, Massachusetts Tort Lawyer Help?
If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in Topsfield, Massachusetts, you have a right to go to court and attempt to prove your case. On the other hand, if you find that you are being sued for a tort, and believe that you aren't liable, you have every right to defend yourself in court.
Whatever your situation, a tort lawyer who has experience in representing people in Topsfield, Massachusetts tort cases can advise you on the best way to proceed, and give you the best chance of winning your case, whatever side you're on.