Litigation Lawyers in Martinsville
If you have been wronged by someone in Martinsville, Virginia, and have sustained a tangible loss as a result, you may have been the victim of a "tort," and entitled to obtain compensation from the person who wronged you, through the legal system.
Essentially, a tort in Martinsville, 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 recognized as a "cause of action."
In Martinsville, 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 Martinsville, Virginia
Negligence: Negligence is the most commonly-litigated tort in Martinsville, Virginia's civil litigation system. Negligence occurs when somebody does not exercise the level of care that a "reasonable person" would exercise in a similar situation, and causes an injury as a direct result. As an example, most people know that running a stop sign at high speed is very careless, and no reasonable person would be expected to do such a thing. Doing so clearly falls below the ordinary standard of care. So, if a person runs a stop sign at high speed, and hits another car, causing injuries and property damage, they will be liable to the person they harmed for the cost of whatever harm they caused.
Fraud: Unlike negligence, fraud is an intentional tort. Like negligence, courts in Martinsville, Virginia 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 commonly 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: Intentional infliction of emotional distress is also called IIED in Martinsville, Virginia, 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. Additionally, it must be shown that this conduct directly caused severe emotional distress in the plaintiff, and that that was the defendant's intent. Showing 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 Martinsville, Virginia Tort Lawyer Help?
If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in Martinsville, Virginia, 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 accountable, 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 Martinsville, Virginia. In addition to improving your chances of winning your case, should it go to trial, a seasoned 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.