Litigation Lawyers in Westwood
A "tort" is defined in Westwood, Massachusetts as a legal wrong, not criminal in nature, for which the law provides compensation to the victim.
In Westwood, 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 Westwood, 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 Westwood, Massachusetts
Negligence: Negligence is the most often-litigated tort in Westwood, 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 Westwood, 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.
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 necessary 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 severe 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: Also known as IIED in Westwood, 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 Westwood, Massachusetts Tort Lawyer Help?
If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in Westwood, 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.
In either case, a Westwood, Massachusetts tort lawyer will be able to advise you of your rights, and ensure that you have the best possible chance of prevailing in your case.