Litigation Lawyers in Winston Salem
In Winston Salem, North Carolina, a "tort" is any wrongful act, besides a breach of contract or a crime, that the judicial system can remedy.
Essentially, any bad act in Winston Salem, North Carolina that gives you the legal right to sue the person who committed the act, is a tort. Your particular right to sue is called a "cause of action."
The law in Winston Salem, North Carolina recognizes dozens of different torts. Some of them are fairly obscure, and don't come up frequently, and are largely relics of the common law. The torts that a person is most likely to deal with at some time in his or her life are negligence, fraud, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Types of Torts in Winston Salem, North Carolina
Negligence: Negligence is the most often-litigated tort in Winston Salem, 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 an intentional tort, unlike negligence. It is also dealt with fairly frequently by courts in Winston Salem, 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 number of different contexts. For instance, 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.
Battery: Battery in Winston Salem, 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 practically 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 Winston Salem, North Carolina as a legitimate tort until the early to mid 20th Century. Nonetheless, 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 Winston Salem, North Carolina Tort Lawyer Help?
If you think that someone might have committed a tort against you in Winston Salem, 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 completely entitled to put up the best legal defense you can.
In either of those situations, you will almost definitely benefit from the counsel of a competent tort lawyer in Winston Salem, North Carolina. In addition to improving your chances of winning your case, should it go to trial, a reputable lawyer will also make every effort to prevent the issue from going to trial in the first place, by attempting to negotiate a settlement with the other side that's acceptable to both parties.