Litigation Lawyers in Bedford
If you have been wronged by someone in Bedford, Virginia, and have sustained a tangible loss as a result, you may have been the victim of a "tort," and entitled to seek compensation from the person who wronged you, through the legal system.
Essentially, a tort in Bedford, Virginia is any wrongful action committed by one individual against another, which gives the victim of the wrongdoing the legal right to sue the wrongdoer. This is known as a "cause of action."
In Bedford, Virginia, 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 Bedford, Virginia
Negligence: In Bedford, Virginia, negligence is, far and away, the most common 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 particular 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 very careless, and everybody should know this. Of course, there are many other cases, most of them far less obvious, where negligence can occur.
Fraud: Fraud is an intentional tort, unlike negligence. It is also dealt with fairly frequently by courts in Bedford, Virginia. Fraud is a lie that one person tells to another, with the intent to harm the other person, usually by inducing them to give money or property to the person committing the fraud. Fraud can occur in a wide number of different contexts. For instance, 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 Bedford, Virginia 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, or IIED, is a relatively new tort in Bedford, Virginia. 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 sustained emotional distress. This evidence usually comes in the form of a report from a psychiatrist who evaluated the plaintiff's mental condition.
How Can A Bedford, Virginia Tort Lawyer Help?
If somebody has harmed you, either intentionally or negligently, in Bedford, Virginia, you might have a cause of action. On the other hand, if you find yourself in the unenviable situation of being sued for a tort, you have a right to defend yourself, and will likely want to, for obvious reasons.
In both instances, a reputable Bedford, Virginia 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.