Litigation Lawyers in Rochester
A "tort" in Rochester, Pennsylvania is basically any legally-recognized harm for which the victim is legally entitled to pursue compensation from the perpetrator.
Basically, any bad act in Rochester, Pennsylvania 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 of Rochester, Pennsylvania recognizes many dozen different torts, but only a few of them are really litigated with any frequency, and many of them are relics of a bygone age. However, there are a few torts that are litigated very commonly. These torts are negligence, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and battery.
Types of Torts in Rochester, Pennsylvania
Negligence: In Rochester, 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: In Rochester, Pennsylvania, fraud is a fairly frequent tort that the local court system has to deal with, though it may not be quite as frequent as negligence. To put it in the simplest terms possible, fraud is a deliberate lie that causes tangible harm (such as financial loss) to the person to whom the lie is told. Fraud is committed in a wide variety of contexts, but it most often occurs when someone is trying to sell a product for more than it's worth. They might lie to a prospective buyer about the product's quality or value. If the buyer relies on this misrepresentation when deciding to buy the product, they are the victim of fraud, and have a right to sue the seller for their financial losses, and possibly recover punitive damages.
Battery: Battery in Rochester, Pennsylvania 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 essentially 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, or IIED, is a relatively new tort in Rochester, 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 Rochester, Pennsylvania Tort Lawyer Help?
If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in Rochester, 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 Rochester, 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.