Litigation Lawyers in Walla Walla
If you have been wronged by someone in Walla Walla, 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 Walla Walla, 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."
Walla Walla, 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 Walla Walla, Washington
Negligence: Negligence is the most commonly-litigated tort in Walla Walla, Washington's civil litigation system. Negligence occurs when somebody does not exercise the level of care that a "reasonable person" would exercise in a similar situation, and causes an injury as a direct result. As an example, most people know that running a stop sign at high speed is very careless, and no reasonable person would be expected to do such a thing. Doing so clearly falls below the ordinary standard of care. So, if a person runs a stop sign at high speed, and hits another car, causing injuries and property damage, they will be liable to the person they harmed for the cost of whatever harm they caused.
Fraud: Fraud is another frequent tort litigated in Walla Walla, Washington courts. Fraud is defined as the deliberate misrepresentation of facts made for financial, or other personal gain, which causes harm to someone else. Normally, fraud is committed when a product or service is sold, and the seller lies about the nature or quality of the thing being sold. If, in deciding to buy what the fraudster is selling, the victim relies on the false statements, the seller has committed fraud. The buyer can then sue the seller, to seek compensation for their losses. At the very least, they will normally receive the difference between the fair market value of the thing they bought, and what they paid for it.
Battery: Battery in Walla Walla, Washington 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 virtually 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 Walla Walla, 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 Walla Walla, Washington Tort Lawyer Help?
If someone has committed a tort against in you Walla Walla, Washington, you have a legal right to seek compensation. Additionally, if someone has sued you, alleging that you committed a tort, you have a right to mount a legal defense.
In both situations, a brilliant Walla Walla, Washington 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.