Litigation Lawyers in Columbia
A "tort" is specified in Columbia, Maryland as a legal wrong, not criminal in nature, for which the law provides compensation to the victim.
In Columbia, 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 of Columbia, Maryland recognizes many dozen different torts, but only a few of them are really litigated with any frequency, and many of them are relics of a bygone age. However, there are a few torts that are litigated very commonly. These torts are negligence, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and battery.
Types of Torts in Columbia, Maryland
Negligence: Negligence is by far the most frequent tort that results in litigation in Columbia, Maryland. Negligence is a failure to exercise the amount of care appropriate for a certain situation, and causing harm to someone else as a result of this carelessness. For instance, running a red light is inherently careless. If you run a red light, and cause personal injury or property damage, you are liable for the harm you caused. Of course, this is just one instance, and negligence can occur in practically any context.
Fraud: Fraud is another frequent tort litigated in Columbia, Maryland courts. Fraud is defined as the deliberate misrepresentation of facts made for financial, or other personal gain, which causes harm to someone else. Normally, 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 normally receive the difference between the fair market value of the thing they bought, and what they paid for it.
Battery: Battery is defined by the law of Columbia, Maryland as any contact by one person, with the body of another, which is offensive or harmful. Any conduct that causes physical injury, pain, or emotional distress is battery. Also, you do not need to really touch a person with your own body to commit battery - simply directing harmful contact (say, by throwing a rock) toward another person is sufficient to create liability for battery. Battery can also arise from "offensive" contact, which is basically any physical contact that violates one's sense of personal dignity constitutes battery, and the victim could technically sue over it. Nonetheless, in most cases like that, the plaintiff hasn't sustained any real harm, and will only be able to recover nominal damages, which would be far, far less than the cost of filing a lawsuit.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress: Intentional infliction of emotional distress is also called IIED in Columbia, Maryland, and it was not identified 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. Additionally, it must be shown that this conduct directly caused severe emotional distress in the plaintiff, and that that was the defendant's intent. Showing 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 Columbia, Maryland Tort Lawyer Help?
If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in Columbia, Maryland, you have a right to go to court and try 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 accountable, you have every right to defend yourself in court.
In either situation, a Columbia, Maryland 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.