Litigation Lawyers in Berkeley Heights
In Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, a "tort" is any wrongful act, besides a breach of contract or a crime, that the judicial system can remedy.
Typically, any bad act in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey 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."
Statutes and appellate court rulings in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey recognize a very considerable number of different torts. However, most of these torts are largely relics of history, and are no longer litigated very frequently, 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 Berkeley Heights, New Jersey
Negligence: In Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, 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 instance, 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 anyone 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: Unlike negligence, fraud is an intentional tort. Like negligence, courts in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey deal with it quite often. Put simply, fraud is a lie told for personal gain. It requires an affirmative misrepresentation, which the speaker knows to be false, intended to induce the victim to render some benefit to the speaker, which causes actual harm (such as financial loss) to the victim. It occurs most frequently when somebody is trying to sell something for more than it's worth, and lies about the nature or value of the product to the buyer. If the buyer relies on the seller's false statements of fact in making the decision to buy the product, the seller has committed fraud. In such a situation, the buyer is legally entitled to compensation for the harm suffered as a result of the fraud.
Battery: Battery in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey 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 is also called IIED in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, and it was not identified as a valid cause of action until fairly recently (for the longest time, physical harm was a requirement before someone could sue for tort damages). To hold a defendant liable for IIED, it must be shown that the defendant engaged in some type of outrageous conduct, targeted at the plaintiff. Moreover, it must be shown that this conduct directly caused severe emotional distress in the plaintiff, and that that was the defendant's intent. Establishing that actual emotional distress occurred is the most difficult element of this tort, and the plaintiff's word is far from sufficient. It often requires intensive examination by a psychiatrist, who will then testify as to the plaintiff's mental state.
How Can A Berkeley Heights, New Jersey Tort Lawyer Help?
If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, you have a right to go to court and try to prove your case. On the other hand, if you find that you are being sued for a tort, and believe that you aren't responsible, you have every right to defend yourself in court.
In either situation, a Berkeley Heights, New Jersey 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.