Litigation Lawyers in Laurel
A "tort" is defined in Laurel, Maryland as a legal wrong, not criminal in nature, for which the law provides compensation to the victim.
In Laurel, 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 Laurel, 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 Laurel, Maryland
Negligence: Negligence is by far the most prevalent tort that results in litigation in Laurel, 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 virtually any context.
Fraud: In Laurel, 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.
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 important 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: Intentional infliction of emotional distress, or IIED, is a relatively new tort in Laurel, 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 Laurel, Maryland Tort Lawyer Help?
If somebody has injured you, either intentionally or negligently, in Laurel, 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 situations, a knowledgeable Laurel, 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.