Litigation Lawyers in Staunton
If you have been wronged by someone in Staunton, 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 Staunton, 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 Staunton, 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 Staunton, Virginia
Negligence: This is by far the tort that is most frequently dealt with in the courts of Staunton, 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 obvious example, and there are a practically infinite number of situations in which a negligence lawsuit can arise.
Fraud: In Staunton, Virginia, 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.
Battery: Battery in Staunton, 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 is also called IIED in Staunton, 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. 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 Staunton, Virginia Tort Lawyer Help?
If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in Staunton, 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 responsible, you have every right to defend yourself in court.
In either situation, a Staunton, 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.