Litigation Lawyers in Johnstown
A "tort" in Johnstown, Pennsylvania is essentially any legally-recognized harm for which the victim is legally entitled to pursue compensation from the perpetrator.
Basically, any bad act in Johnstown, Pennsylvania 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 Johnstown, Pennsylvania 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 Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Negligence: In Johnstown, 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 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 Johnstown, Pennsylvania 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 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 situation, the buyer is legally entitled to compensation for the harm suffered as a result of the fraud.
harmful or offensive, and non-consensual. For example, slapping someone on the face would be a clear case of battery, because that contact is harmful, and probably offensive as well. Unwanted physical conduct, especially of a sexual nature, is considered offensive by just about everyone, and would also be considered battery even if it causes no physical injuries. Sometimes, a doctor will operate on the wrong body part, which the patient did not consent to be operated on. And, sometimes, doctors have performed entire operations while the patient was unconscious, which the patient didn't consent to. This is also battery, and can result in a very costly lawsuit for the doctor, though such cases are quite rare.
Intentional infliction of emotional distress: Also known as IIED in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, intentional infliction of emotional distress is a fairly new cause of action, having not been recognized until the 20th century. In order to win in an IIED lawsuit, the plaintiff has to show that the defendant engaged in some kind of "outrageous" conduct, which was severe enough to "shock the conscience" of a reasonable person. They must also prove that the defendant really intended to cause emotional distress, and did, in fact, cause severe emotional distress. Proving that the plaintiff suffered trauma or distress as a result of the defendant's conduct is not as easy as it may sound, and usually requires the testimony of a psychiatric professional who has examined the plaintiff.
How Can A Johnstown, Pennsylvania Tort Lawyer Help?
If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, 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 accountable, you have every right to defend yourself in court.
Whatever your situation, a tort lawyer who has expertise in representing people in Johnstown, Pennsylvania tort cases can advise you on the best way to proceed, and give you the best chance of winning your case, whatever side you're on.