Litigation Lawyers in Whatcom County
If you have been wronged by someone in Whatcom County, Washington, 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 Whatcom County, 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 identified as a "cause of action."
Whatcom County, 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 Whatcom County, Washington
Negligence: Negligence is the most frequently-litigated tort in Whatcom County, 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 prevalent tort litigated in Whatcom County, Washington courts. Fraud is defined as the deliberate misrepresentation of facts made for financial, or other personal gain, which causes harm to someone else. Typically, 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 typically receive the difference between the fair market value of the thing they bought, and what they paid for it.
Battery: Battery in Whatcom County, 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 basically 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: Also known as IIED in Whatcom County, Washington, intentional infliction of emotional distress is a fairly new cause of action, having not been recognized until the 20th century. In order to succeed in an IIED lawsuit, the plaintiff has to establish that the defendant engaged in some kind of "outrageous" conduct, which was severe enough to "shock the conscience" of a reasonable person. They must also prove that the defendant directly intended to cause emotional distress, and did, in fact, cause severe emotional distress. Proving that the plaintiff suffered trauma or distress as a result of the defendant's conduct is not as easy as it may sound, and usually requires the testimony of a psychiatric professional who has examined the plaintiff.
How Can A Whatcom County, Washington Tort Lawyer Help?
If you believe that you've been the victim of a tort in Whatcom County, Washington, 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 Whatcom County, 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.