Litigation Lawyers in Martinsburg
If you have been wronged by someone in Martinsburg, West Virginia, 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.
Basically, any bad act in Martinsburg, West Virginia that gives you the legal right to sue the person who committed the act, is a tort. Your particular right to sue is called a "cause of action."
The law of Martinsburg, West Virginia recognizes many dozen different torts, but only a few of them are really litigated with any frequency, and many of them are relics of a bygone age. However, there are a few torts that are litigated very commonly. These torts are negligence, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and battery.
Types of Torts in Martinsburg, West Virginia
Negligence: Negligence is the most commonly-litigated tort in Martinsburg, West Virginia'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 Martinsburg, West Virginia 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.
element of battery is pretty straightforward: if you engage in physical contact with another that causes pain and/or injury, you've committed battery. It's critical to note that the contact does not need to be harmful to amount to battery - it can also be offensive. What constitutes "offensive" contact is largely subjective, and unless the conduct is truly sleazy (unwanted sexual contact, for example), a battery lawsuit is pretty unlikely to result. One of the more grave forms of battery can occur when a patient is in surgery, and the surgeon, for whatever reason, operates on the wrong body part. Because the patient did not consent to this contact, the surgeon has committed a severe form of battery.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress: Intentional infliction of emotional distress, also known as IIED, was not recognized in Martinsburg, West Virginia as a legitimate tort until the early to mid 20th Century. Nonetheless, 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 Martinsburg, West Virginia Tort Lawyer Help?
If someone has committed a tort against in you Martinsburg, West Virginia, you have a legal power 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 either situation, a Martinsburg, West 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.