Litigation Lawyers in Salem
If you have been wronged by someone in Salem, Virginia, and have sustained a tangible loss as a result, you may have been the victim of a "tort," and entitled to pursue compensation from the person who wronged you, through the legal system.
Essentially, a tort in Salem, 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 identified as a "cause of action."
The law of Salem, Virginia recognizes various dozen different torts, but only a few of them are truly litigated with any frequency, and many of them are relics of a bygone age. However, there are a few torts that are litigated very frequently. These torts are negligence, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and battery.
Types of Torts in Salem, Virginia
Negligence: This is by far the tort that is most frequently dealt with in the courts of Salem, 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 apparent 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 Salem, Virginia. Fraud is a lie that one person tells to another, with the intent to harm the other person, typically 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: The law in Salem, Virginia defines battery as any harmful or offensive contact by one person, with the body of another person, without the consent of the victim. Any punch, kick, strike, or slap would precisely amount to battery, since it is harmful, unless it results in a context where the person being battered consented to it (a lawful boxing match, for example). However, conduct that doesn't cause any physical harm, but is "offensive," can also be considered battery. This most often comes up when one person initiates unwanted sexual contact with another.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress: Intentional infliction of emotional distress, or IIED, is a relatively new tort in Salem, 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 typically comes in the form of a report from a psychiatrist who evaluated the plaintiff's mental condition.
How Can A Salem, Virginia Tort Lawyer Help?
If somebody has injured you, either intentionally or negligently, in Salem, 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 apparent reasons.
In both cases, a reliable Salem, 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.