Litigation Lawyers in Jacksonville
In Jacksonville, North Carolina, a "tort" is any wrongful act, besides a breach of contract or a crime, that the legal system can remedy.
Essentially, any bad act in Jacksonville, North Carolina that gives you the legal right to sue the person who committed the act, is a tort. Your specific right to sue is called a "cause of action."
The law in Jacksonville, North Carolina recognizes dozens of different torts. Some of them are fairly obscure, and don't come up often, and are largely relics of the common law. The torts that a person is most likely to deal with at some point in his or her life are negligence, fraud, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Types of Torts in Jacksonville, North Carolina
Negligence: In Jacksonville, North Carolina, negligence is, far and away, the most common tort that the civil litigation system has to deal with. Negligence is a failure to exercise the level of caution that's necessary in a given situation, and causing harm (physical injury or property damage) as a direct result of this failure. An obvious example is drunk driving. If a person is drunk behind the wheel, and causes an accident, they are clearly going to be required to compensate the victim for whatever harm they cause, since driving while intoxicated is extremely careless, and everybody should know this. Of course, there are many other situations, most of them far less obvious, where negligence can occur.
Fraud: Fraud is an intentional tort, unlike negligence. It is also dealt with fairly often by courts in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Fraud is a lie that one person tells to another, with the intent to harm the other person, usually by inducing them to give money or property to the person committing the fraud. Fraud can occur in a wide variety of different contexts. For example, suppose a jeweler tries to sell a fake diamond to a customer, by passing it off as the real thing. If the customer believes the jeweler's lie, and bases his buying decision on it, the jeweler has committed fraud. If the customer discovers this fraud, he will be able to sue the jeweler, and recover, at the very least, the difference between the value of the fake diamond, and what he paid for it.
harmful or offensive, and non-consensual. For example, slapping someone on the face would be a clear case of battery, because that contact is harmful, and probably offensive as well. Unwanted physical conduct, particularly of a sexual nature, is considered offensive by just about everyone, and would also be considered battery even if it causes no physical injuries. Occasionally, a doctor will operate on the wrong body part, which the patient did not consent to be operated on. And, occasionally, doctors have performed entire operations while the patient was unconscious, which the patient didn't consent to. This is also battery, and can result in a very costly lawsuit for the doctor, though such cases are quite rare.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress: Intentional infliction of emotional distress, also known as IIED, was not recognized in Jacksonville, 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 actually 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 Jacksonville, North Carolina Tort Lawyer Help?
If somebody has harmed you, either intentionally or negligently, in Jacksonville, North Carolina, 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 obvious reasons.
In both situations, a good Jacksonville, North Carolina 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.