Litigation Lawyers in Kennewick
If you have been wronged by someone in Kennewick, Washington, 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 Kennewick, Washington 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."
Kennewick, Washington's laws recognize many different torts. Nonetheless, the civil litigation system only deals with a few of these dozens of torts with any frequency. While the most obscure torts are sometimes litigated, there are only a small amount that the ordinary person is likely to deal with (either as a plaintiff or defendant) at some point in their lives. They include fraud, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and battery.
Types of Torts in Kennewick, Washington
Negligence: This is by far the tort that is most commonly dealt with in the courts of Kennewick, Washington. 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: In Kennewick, Washington, fraud is a fairly frequent tort that the local court system has to deal with, though it may not be quite as frequent 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: The law in Kennewick, Washington 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 happens 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 is also called IIED in Kennewick, Washington, 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 Kennewick, Washington Tort Lawyer Help?
If somebody has hurt you, either intentionally or negligently, in Kennewick, Washington, 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 evident reasons.
In either situation, a Kennewick, Washington 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.