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Personal Injury

What Is Tort Law?

January 18, 2021

Tort law protects and compensates the individuals who have been injured by the intentional acts, negligence, or recklessness of wrongdoers. A tort is an invasion of a person’s rights that results in harm. Tort law seeks to redress the wrongs done to people, typically by providing monetary compensation.

Understanding Tort Law

Tort law requires victims to be compensated by those at fault for harm suffered. Harms can include pain and suffering, loss of wages, property damage, and medical bills. For a tort case to be successful, a victim must prove the following four elements:

  • Duty: Duty is an obligation to do or not do an action. It can be written down, such as driving laws. Duty can also arise from common knowledge on reasonable care. Everybody has a duty to act reasonably to avoid injuring others.
  • Breach of duty: This occurs when someone fails to act in line with the duty.
  • Causation: A victim must prove that the loss or harm suffered was caused by the defendant’s action.
  • Damages: Damages refers to the injuries and losses suffered and the monetary compensation awarded for those losses and injuries.

Categories of Tort Law

Tort law encompasses a wide variety of personal injury cases. Generally, it can be classified into the following categories intentional torts, negligent torts, and strict liability torts.

Intentional Tort

This type of tort occurs when an entity or individual intentionally commits an act that injures or damages another. For instance, striking someone during a fight is an intentional act that falls under the intentional tort of battery. Sexual abuse, domestic abuse, fraud, trespass, and defamation are also examples of intentional tort.

Negligence

Injury attorneys handle cases involving negligence more than any other tort. It is the most common type of tort. Negligence torts involve harm done to people because of the failure of others to exercise the standard of care that reasonable people would exercise in similar circumstances.

Examples of negligent torts are traffic accidents, slip and fall incidents, and medical malpractice.

Strict Liability Torts

In strict liability torts, responsibility for injuries can be imposed on a person or entity without proof of direct fault or negligence. What matters in these cases is the occurrence of an action and the resulting injuries.

In general, tort law helps disclose wrongdoing, compensate injured plaintiffs fairly, and deter unreasonable or dangerous conduct.

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