Litigation Lawyers in Providence
A "tort" in Providence, Rhode Island is basically any legally-recognized harm for which the victim is legally entitled to pursue compensation from the perpetrator.
Basically, any bad act in Providence, Rhode Island 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."
Statutes and appellate court rulings in Providence, Rhode Island 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 Providence, Rhode Island
Negligence: In Providence, Rhode Island, negligence is, far and away, the most frequent tort that the civil litigation system has to deal with. Negligence is a failure to exercise the level of caution that's necessary in a given situation, and causing harm (physical injury or property damage) as a direct result of this failure. An obvious example is drunk driving. If a person is drunk behind the wheel, and causes an accident, they are clearly going to be required to compensate the victim for whatever harm they cause, since driving while intoxicated is extremely careless, and everybody should know this. Of course, there are many other situations, most of them far less evident, where negligence can occur.
Fraud: Fraud is an intentional tort, unlike negligence. It is also dealt with fairly often by courts in Providence, Rhode Island. Fraud is a lie that one person tells to another, with the intent to harm the other person, normally by inducing them to give money or property to the person committing the fraud. Fraud can occur in a wide variety of different contexts. For example, suppose a jeweler tries to sell a fake diamond to a customer, by passing it off as the real thing. If the customer believes the jeweler's lie, and bases his buying decision on it, the jeweler has committed fraud. If the customer discovers this fraud, he will be able to sue the jeweler, and recover, at the very least, the difference between the value of the fake diamond, and what he paid for it.
Battery: Battery in Providence, Rhode Island 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: Also known as IIED in Providence, Rhode Island, 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 show 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 Providence, Rhode Island Tort Lawyer Help?
If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in Providence, Rhode Island, 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 Providence, Rhode Island 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.