What Is Tort Law?

Overview of Tort Law

Tort law is a legal term meaning “wrong.” It describes civil wrongs and private or civil lawsuits that deal with injuries and harm to people and their property. There are three primary types of torts: intentional, negligent, and strict liability. The most common type of tort litigation involves personal injury claims brought on behalf of someone who has suffered an injury as a result of another person's negligence or carelessness. A classic example would be if someone was crossing the street in a crosswalk and you ran into them with your car because you were driving too fast; they could sue you for damages through tort law because you had been negligent (you failed to take reasonable care). You might have not meant any harm, but the law requires that you act with reasonable care, and not hitting someone with your vehicle is an example of acting with reasonable care.

What Is Tort Law?

Tort law describes civil wrongs where a person or party can seek civil damages or compensation for a loss or harm caused by another person's intentional action, negligence, or strict liability. In all cases dealing with tort law, some type of injury occurs if it is from a car accident, dog bite, slip-and-fall, medical malpractice, or defective product.

To prove a case successfully in a court of law using tort law, four elements must be proved: duty of care owed to others involved in the situation, breach of said duty (the defendant was negligent or acted with reckless disregard for others' safety or property), causation (the plaintiff's injury was caused by the breach of duty), and damages (harm to plaintiffs).

What Are Some Examples of Tort Law?

There are many examples of torts that may affect you in your daily life. Some include car accidents, medical malpractice, faulty products, dog bites, defamation, assault, battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED)*, invasion of privacy* (*requires "intention" element not required for other torts), and trespassing. If you had a serious injury due to someone's careless (negligent) behavior, you should speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to see if you have a case.

What Parties Can Be Liable For A Tort?

In general, an individual, corporation, business (including doctors and hospitals), government agency or municipality can be liable for committing a tort. Those who commit torts are said to owe duties of care to others; if the duty is breached by failing to act as expected, then someone else might suffer an injury.

Examples of Corporate Liability

A company may be held liable for committing torts in some cases; examples include defective products, dog bites, hazardous or unsafe conditions, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED)*, invasion of privacy* (*requires "intention" element not required for other torts), and trespassing. However, corporations do enjoy some protections based on the legal principle known as liability. It also should be noted that some torts, namely defamation, can be committed by individuals and businesses alike.

What Is The Difference Between A Crime And A Tort?

In general, a crime is defined as an offense against the public at large while a tort describes civil wrongs where one party causes injury or harm to another individual or group of people for which a legal remedy may be sought. In broad terms, crimes are "against the state" while torts usually have a more direct impact on specific persons.