Litigation Lawyers in Westbrook
A "tort" is defined in Westbrook, Maine as a legal wrong, not criminal in nature, for which the law provides compensation to the victim.
In Westbrook, Maine, 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."
Statutes and appellate court rulings in Westbrook, Maine recognize a very considerable number of different torts. However, most of these torts are largely relics of history, and are no longer litigated very often, if at all. There are only a few that the average person has a decent chance of dealing with at least once in their lives. They include, but aren't limited to, negligence, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and battery.
Types of Torts in Westbrook, Maine
Negligence: This is by far the tort that is most frequently dealt with in the courts of Westbrook, Maine. Put simply, negligence is a failure to exercise a reasonable amount of care, and causing harm to someone as a result. For instance, driving 30 miles per hour over the speed limit is obviously very careless. So, if you are driving that fast, and your speed causes you to get into an accident that harms someone else (either their body or their property), you have committed negligence, and will be required to compensate the victim for the harm that you caused. You should know, however, that this is just an apparent example, and there are a practically infinite number of situations in which a negligence lawsuit can arise.
Fraud: Fraud in Westbrook, Maine is another fairly typical tort. It is a deliberate misrepresentation made for personal gain, at the expense of another. It normally 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: Battery is defined by the law of Westbrook, Maine 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 directly 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 typically any physical contact that violates one's sense of personal dignity constitutes battery, and the victim could technically sue over it. However, in most cases like that, the plaintiff hasn't suffered 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, or IIED, is a relatively new tort in Westbrook, Maine. 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 Westbrook, Maine Tort Lawyer Help?
If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in Westbrook, Maine, you have a right to go to court and attempt 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 responsible, you have every right to defend yourself in court.
In both situations, a knowledgeable Westbrook, 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.