Litigation Lawyers in Richmond
If you have been wronged by someone in Richmond, 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 Richmond, 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."
The law of Richmond, Virginia recognizes several dozen different torts, but only a few of them are actually litigated with any frequency, and many of them are relics of a bygone age. However, there are a few torts that are litigated very often. These torts are negligence, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and battery.
Types of Torts in Richmond, Virginia
Negligence: This is by far the tort that is most often dealt with in the courts of Richmond, Virginia. 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 noticeable example, and there are a practically infinite number of situations in which a negligence lawsuit can arise.
Fraud: Fraud is an intentional tort, unlike negligence. It is also dealt with fairly frequently by courts in Richmond, 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 Richmond, 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 practically 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, also known as IIED, was not recognized in Richmond, Virginia as a legitimate tort until the early to mid 20th Century. Nonetheless, since it became available as a cause of action, it has become one of the most common sources of civil litigation in the tort context. IIED is committed when a person engages in "outrageous" conduct towards another person, with actual intent of causing mental trauma or distress, and then actually causes the intended result. Physical injuries are not necessary to prove IIED, but if the emotional trauma is so severe that it causes physical symptoms (such as a heart attack, in the most extreme cases), the defendant will be liable for them, as well.
How Can A Richmond, Virginia Tort Lawyer Help?
If somebody has harmed you, either intentionally or negligently, in Richmond, 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 either situation, a Richmond, Virginia 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.