Litigation Lawyers in Belfast
A "tort" is specified in Belfast, Maine as a legal wrong, not criminal in nature, for which the law provides compensation to the victim.
In Belfast, Maine, 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 Belfast, Maine 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 Belfast, Maine
Negligence: Negligence is the most commonly-litigated tort in Belfast, Maine'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 in Belfast, Maine is another fairly frequent tort. It is a deliberate misrepresentation made for personal gain, at the expense of another. It usually involves selling a product to a person, while lying about the product's nature. If the buyer relies on the false information in making their purchasing decision, they are a victim of fraud, and can sue the person who defrauded them to recover their losses.
Battery: The law in Belfast, Maine 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 happens 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: Also known as IIED in Belfast, Maine, intentional infliction of emotional distress is a fairly new cause of action, having not been recognized until the 20th century. In order to win in an IIED lawsuit, the plaintiff has to show 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 prove that the defendant really 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 Belfast, Maine Tort Lawyer Help?
If someone has committed a tort against in you Belfast, Maine, you have a legal option to seek compensation. Additionally, if someone has sued you, alleging that you committed a tort, you have a right to mount a legal defense.
In both instances, a seasoned Belfast, Maine 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.