Litigation Lawyers in Hays County
A "tort" in Hays County, Texas is essentially any legally-recognized harm for which the victim is legally entitled to pursue compensation from the perpetrator.
When a tort is committed in Hays County, Texas, thereby giving the victim the legal right to sue the person who allegedly harmed them, the victim's right to sue is known as a "cause of action."
The law in Hays County, Texas 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 Hays County, Texas
Negligence: This is by far the tort that is most often dealt with in the courts of Hays County, Texas. Put simply, negligence is a failure to exercise a reasonable amount of care, and causing harm to someone as a result. For instance, driving 30 miles per hour over the speed limit is obviously very careless. So, if you are driving that fast, and your speed causes you to get into an accident that harms someone else (either their body or their property), you have committed negligence, and will be obligated to compensate the victim for the harm that you caused. You should know, however, that this is just an apparent example, and there are a practically infinite number of situations in which a negligence lawsuit can arise.
Fraud: In Hays County, Texas, fraud is a fairly common tort that the local court system has to deal with, though it may not be quite as common 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 happens 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 Hays County, Texas 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 basically 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 is also called IIED in Hays County, Texas, and it was not identified as a valid cause of action until fairly recently (for the longest time, physical harm was a requirement before someone could sue for tort damages). To hold a defendant liable for IIED, it must be shown that the defendant engaged in some type of outrageous conduct, targeted at the plaintiff. Furthermore, it must be shown that this conduct directly caused severe emotional distress in the plaintiff, and that that was the defendant's intent. Proving that actual emotional distress occurred is the most difficult element of this tort, and the plaintiff's word is far from sufficient. It often requires intensive examination by a psychiatrist, who will then testify as to the plaintiff's mental state.
How Can A Hays County, Texas Tort Lawyer Help?
If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in Hays County, Texas, 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 liable, you have every right to defend yourself in court.
In either of those situations, you will almost definitely benefit from the counsel of a competent tort lawyer in Hays County, Texas. In addition to improving your chances of winning your case, should it go to trial, a reputable lawyer will also make every effort to prevent the issue from going to trial in the first place, by attempting to negotiate a settlement with the other side that's acceptable to both parties.