Litigation Lawyers in Bethesda
A "tort" is specified in Bethesda, Maryland as a legal wrong, not criminal in nature, for which the law provides compensation to the victim.
In Bethesda, Maryland, 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 Bethesda, Maryland 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 Bethesda, Maryland
Negligence: Negligence is the most frequently-litigated tort in Bethesda, Maryland'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 an intentional tort, unlike negligence. It is also dealt with fairly frequently by courts in Bethesda, Maryland. Fraud is a lie that one person tells to another, with the intent to harm the other person, typically by inducing them to give money or property to the person committing the fraud. Fraud can occur in a wide number of different contexts. For instance, suppose a jeweler tries to sell a fake diamond to a customer, by passing it off as the real thing. If the customer believes the jeweler's lie, and bases his buying decision on it, the jeweler has committed fraud. If the customer discovers this fraud, he will be able to sue the jeweler, and recover, at the very least, the difference between the value of the fake diamond, and what he paid for it.
Battery: The law in Bethesda, Maryland 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 precisely amount to battery, since it is harmful, unless it results 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: Intentional infliction of emotional distress, or IIED, is a relatively new tort in Bethesda, Maryland. It is committed when someone deliberately causes emotional distress or trauma to another person by engaging in outrageous conduct, with the intent of causing such distress. Note that the defendant does not need to cause physical injuries to the plaintiff to be liable for IIED, but the plaintiff does have to produce evidence that they sustained emotional distress. This evidence typically comes in the form of a report from a psychiatrist who evaluated the plaintiff's mental condition.
How Can A Bethesda, Maryland Tort Lawyer Help?
If somebody has injured you, either intentionally or negligently, in Bethesda, Maryland, 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 cases, a reliable Bethesda, Maryland 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.