Litigation Lawyers in Washington
A "tort" in Washington, Pennsylvania is essentially any legally-recognized harm for which the victim is legally entitled to pursue compensation from the perpetrator.
Typically, any bad act in Washington, 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."
Statutes and appellate court rulings in Washington, Pennsylvania 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 Washington, Pennsylvania
Negligence: Negligence is by far the most prevalent tort that results in litigation in Washington, Pennsylvania. Negligence is a failure to exercise the amount of care appropriate for a certain situation, and causing harm to someone else as a result of this carelessness. For instance, running a red light is inherently careless. If you run a red light, and cause personal injury or property damage, you are liable for the harm you caused. Of course, this is just one instance, and negligence can occur in basically any context.
Fraud: Unlike negligence, fraud is an intentional tort. Like negligence, courts in Washington, 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 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.
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 Washington, Pennsylvania, intentional infliction of emotional distress is a fairly new cause of action, having not been recognized until the 20th century. In order to succeed in an IIED lawsuit, the plaintiff has to establish 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 directly 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 Washington, Pennsylvania Tort Lawyer Help?
If you have been the victim of a tort in , Pennsylvania, you have the option to seek legal redress. And if you have been sued for a tort, you have a right to defend yourself.
In both instances, a reliable Washington, 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.