Litigation Lawyers in Smithville
A "tort" in Smithville, 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 Smithville, Texas, thereby giving the victim the legal right to sue the person who allegedly harmed them, the victim's right to sue is identified as a "cause of action."
In Smithville, Texas, there are laws and court rulings that recognize scores of various torts. Many of these torts are very obscure, and are almost never litigated. In the modern era, the torts that the ordinary person is most likely to face are fraud, negligence, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Types of Torts in Smithville, Texas
Negligence: In Smithville, Texas, negligence is the most frequently-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: In Smithville, Texas, fraud is a fairly prevalent tort that the local court system has to deal with, though it may not be quite as prevalent 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.
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: Intentional infliction of emotional distress is also called IIED in Smithville, 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. Moreover, it must be shown that this conduct directly caused severe emotional distress in the plaintiff, and that that was the defendant's intent. Establishing 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 Smithville, Texas Tort Lawyer Help?
If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in Smithville, 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 responsible, you have every right to defend yourself in court.
In either situation, a Smithville, Texas tort lawyer will be able to advise you of your rights, and ensure that you have the best possible chance of prevailing in your case.