Litigation Lawyers in Durham County
In Durham County, North Carolina, a "tort" is any wrongful act, besides a breach of contract or a crime, that the legal system can remedy.
Basically, a tort in Durham County, North Carolina is any wrongful action committed by one person against another, which gives the victim of the wrongdoing the legal right to sue the wrongdoer. This is identified as a "cause of action."
Statutes and appellate court rulings in Durham County, North Carolina 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 Durham County, North Carolina
Negligence: In Durham County, North Carolina, negligence is the most frequently-litigated tort. It is defined as a failure to act (in any situation) with a reasonable level of care, and causing harm as a result of that carelessness. For example, if a store that's open to the public fails to remove ice from its front entrance, or put up any kind of warning, even though it knows that the ice is there, it is not exercising reasonable care. If someone is injured as a result, the store owner will likely be required to compensate them for their injuries. This is, obviously, just an example.
Fraud: Fraud is another prevalent tort litigated in Durham County, North Carolina courts. Fraud is defined as the deliberate misrepresentation of facts made for financial, or other personal gain, which causes harm to someone else. Typically, 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 typically 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 Durham County, North Carolina 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, also known as IIED, was not recognized in Durham County, North Carolina as a valid tort until the early to mid 20th Century. However, since it became available as a cause of action, it has become one of the most common sources of civil litigation in the tort context. IIED is committed when a person engages in "outrageous" conduct towards another person, with actual intent of causing mental trauma or distress, and then truly causes the intended result. Physical injuries are not necessary to prove IIED, but if the emotional trauma is so severe that it causes physical symptoms (such as a heart attack, in the most extreme cases), the defendant will be liable for them, as well.
How Can A Durham County, North Carolina Tort Lawyer Help?
If someone has committed a tort against in you Durham County, North Carolina, you have a legal right to seek compensation. Moreover, if someone has sued you, alleging that you committed a tort, you have a right to mount a legal defense.
In either case, a Durham County, North Carolina 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.