Litigation Lawyers in Howard County
A "tort" is defined in Howard County, Maryland as a legal wrong, not criminal in nature, for which the law provides compensation to the victim.
In Howard County, Maryland, 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 of Howard County, Maryland recognizes various dozen different torts, but only a few of them are truly litigated with any frequency, and many of them are relics of a bygone age. However, there are a few torts that are litigated very frequently. These torts are negligence, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and battery.
Types of Torts in Howard County, Maryland
Negligence: Negligence is by far the most prevalent tort that results in litigation in Howard County, Maryland. Negligence is a failure to exercise the amount of care appropriate for a given situation, and causing harm to someone else as a result of this carelessness. For example, 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 example, and negligence can occur in essentially any context.
Fraud: In Howard County, Maryland, fraud is a fairly prevalent tort that the local court system has to deal with, though it may not be quite as prevalent as negligence. To put it in the simplest terms possible, fraud is a deliberate lie that causes tangible harm (such as financial loss) to the person to whom the lie is told. Fraud is committed in a wide variety of contexts, but it most often occurs when someone is trying to sell a product for more than it's worth. They might lie to a prospective buyer about the product's quality or value. If the buyer relies on this misrepresentation when deciding to buy the product, they are the victim of fraud, and have a right to sue the seller for their financial losses, and possibly recover punitive damages.
Battery: The law in Howard County, 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 clearly 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 Howard County, 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 suffered 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 Howard County, Maryland Tort Lawyer Help?
If somebody has injured you, either intentionally or negligently, in Howard County, 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 probably want to, for apparent reasons.
In both examples, a knowledgeable Howard County, 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.