Litigation Lawyers in Seattle
If you have been wronged by someone in Seattle, Washington, and have suffered 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.
Basically, a tort in Seattle, Washington is any wrongful action committed by one person against another, which gives the victim of the wrongdoing the legal right to sue the wrongdoer. This is recognized as a "cause of action."
Seattle, Washington's laws recognize many different torts. However, the civil litigation system only deals with a few of these dozens of torts with any frequency. While the most obscure torts are occasionally litigated, there are only a small amount that the average 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 Seattle, Washington
Negligence: In Seattle, Washington, negligence is, far and away, the most frequent tort that the civil litigation system has to deal with. Negligence is a failure to exercise the level of caution that's necessary in a given situation, and causing harm (physical injury or property damage) as a direct result of this failure. An obvious example is drunk driving. If a person is drunk behind the wheel, and causes an accident, they are clearly going to be required to compensate the victim for whatever harm they cause, since driving while intoxicated is extremely careless, and everybody should know this. Of course, there are many other situations, most of them far less evident, where negligence can occur.
Fraud: In Seattle, 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 occurs 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.
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, particularly of a sexual nature, is considered offensive by just about everyone, and would also be considered battery even if it causes no physical injuries. Occasionally, a doctor will operate on the wrong body part, which the patient did not consent to be operated on. And, occasionally, 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, also known as IIED, was not recognized in Seattle, Washington as a valid tort until the early to mid 20th Century. However, 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 really 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 Seattle, Washington Tort Lawyer Help?
If you think that someone might have committed a tort against you in Seattle, Washington, you can sue the alleged wrongdoer to seek compensation for your injuries. And, of course, if you are being sued for a tort (or anything else), you are absolutely entitled to put up the best legal defense you can.
Whatever your situation, a tort lawyer who has experience in representing people in Seattle, Washington tort cases can advise you on the best way to proceed, and give you the best chance of winning your case, whatever side you're on.