Litigation Lawyers in Ephrata
A "tort" in Ephrata, Pennsylvania is basically any legally-recognized harm for which the victim is legally entitled to pursue compensation from the perpetrator.
Basically, a tort in Ephrata, Pennsylvania is any wrongful action committed by one person against another, which gives the victim of the wrongdoing the legal right to sue the wrongdoer. This is recognized as a "cause of action."
Statutes and appellate court rulings in Ephrata, Pennsylvania recognize a very massive number of different torts. However, most of these torts are largely relics of history, and are no longer litigated very often, 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 Ephrata, Pennsylvania
Negligence: In Ephrata, Pennsylvania, negligence is the most often-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: Unlike negligence, fraud is an intentional tort. Like negligence, courts in Ephrata, Pennsylvania deal with it quite frequently. 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 happens most commonly 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 case, the buyer is legally entitled to compensation for the harm suffered as a result of the fraud.
Battery: Battery is defined by the law of Ephrata, Pennsylvania 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 really 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 basically 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, or IIED, is a relatively new tort in Ephrata, Pennsylvania. It is committed when someone deliberately causes emotional distress or trauma to another person by engaging in outrageous conduct, with the intent of causing such distress. Note that the defendant does not need to cause physical injuries to the plaintiff to be liable for IIED, but the plaintiff does have to produce evidence that they suffered emotional distress. This evidence normally comes in the form of a report from a psychiatrist who evaluated the plaintiff's mental condition.
How Can A Ephrata, Pennsylvania Tort Lawyer Help?
If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, you have a right to go to court and attempt 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 accountable, you have every right to defend yourself in court.
In both examples, a brilliant Ephrata, Pennsylvania 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.