Litigation Lawyers in New Bern
In New Bern, 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 New Bern, 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 New Bern, 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 New Bern, North Carolina
Negligence: In New Bern, North Carolina, negligence is the most commonly-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 common tort litigated in New Bern, 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. Usually, 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 usually 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 New Bern, 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 actually 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 essentially 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 New Bern, 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 New Bern, North Carolina Tort Lawyer Help?
If you think that someone might have committed a tort against you in New Bern, North Carolina, you can sue the alleged wrongdoer to seek compensation for your injuries. And, of course, if you are being sued for a tort (or anything else), you are absolutely entitled to put up the best legal defense you can.
In either case, a New Bern, 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.