What Is a Tort?
Tort is a category of law that allows a plaintiff to sue the defendant for any damages they caused. It covers a whole range of civil lawsuits from car accidents through to breach of contract. If you are ever trying to remember what is tort law and what is not, just look to see if there are damages that the plaintiff can recover compensation for. If there are damages, it is tort law; if there are no damages, it is not tort law.
What Is the Purpose of Tort Law?
Tort law allows the court to determine who is at fault in the disagreement in question and what damages the at-fault party owes the injured party. In tort law, injury or harm does not necessarily mean a physical injury; it just means that the plaintiff received a loss at the hands of the defendant.
The damages a defendant can claim include things like:
- Property damage (repair or replacement)
- Medical bills
- Lost wages/Lost profit
- Loss of opportunity
- Intangible damages like pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.
- Financial loss
Personal injury or negligence torts are one of the most common types of tort. Tort law makes up the majority of civil lawsuits.
Types of Torts
Tort law is generally broken down into three categories: negligence torts, intentional torts, and strict liability torts.
This type of tort law is an accident that occurred because the defendant did not take reasonable care. The action the defendant took was not intentional but a dangerous mistake. Negligence torts are some of the most common types of lawsuits. Some examples of negligence torts are:
- Medical malpractice
- Slip and fall/ personal injury lawsuits
- Car accidents or pedestrian accidents
A negligence tort is something that happens accidentally. An intentional tort is because of the defendant’s intentional wrongdoing. They either did an action knowing it could be harmful or did an action intending to harm someone. Some examples of intentional tort are:
- Assault or battery