Litigation Lawyers in Smithfield
In Smithfield, North Carolina, a "tort" is any wrongful act, besides a breach of contract or a crime, that the legal system can remedy.
Typically, any bad act in Smithfield, 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 Smithfield, 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 Smithfield, North Carolina
Negligence: Negligence is the most frequently-litigated tort in Smithfield, North Carolina'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 is another prevalent tort litigated in Smithfield, 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 in Smithfield, North Carolina is defined as any harmful or offensive contact with the person of another, without the victim's consent. Punching someone in the face would qualify as battery, as would virtually any unwanted physical contact, particularly of a sexual nature. It can also occur when a doctor operates on a body part without the patient's consent.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress: Intentional infliction of emotional distress, also known as IIED, was not recognized in Smithfield, 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 Smithfield, North Carolina Tort Lawyer Help?
If you think that someone might have committed a tort against you in Smithfield, 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 Smithfield, 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.