Some Basic Information About Tort Law

Even if you don’t work in the legal field, you probably have heard the term “tort.” News stories and magazine articles often revolve around lawsuits and large-scale legal disputes. Millions of lawsuits are filed in the United States every year, so there’s a real possibility you might be in court one day yourself. Understanding basic information about tort law can help you understand how lawsuits work.

The general definition of “tort law” is:

“A body of rights, obligations, and remedies that is applied by courts in civil proceedings to provide relief for persons who have suffered harm from the wrongful acts of others.”

Tort law is applied to torts, which are acts or omissions that injure or harm someone. A lawsuit based on tort causes of action seeks monetary compensation for the person who was injured (the “plaintiff”) by the person or company that caused the injury (the “defendant” or “tortfeasor”).

Tort cases are civil cases. However, tort law is not the basis for all civil lawsuits. Contract disputes follow contract law, not tort law.

Don’t worry if this all sounds complicated to you. It is complicated.

The Three Kinds of Torts

Tort law encompasses three distinct categories:

  • Negligence – These cases involve an unintentional act, often caused by carelessness.
  • Intentional Harm – Tort law also covers damages that were intentionally caused by another person or a company.
  • Strict Liability – When injuries are not negligent or intentional, tort law is still used to get the responsible party to compensate the injured party.

Every case is a little different, yet there are some significant similarities also.

Elements Needed to Prove a Tort Action

Every lawsuit based on tort law must prove the following elements:

  • the defendant had a duty to act or a standard of care;
  • the plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached the duty to act; and
  • the plaintiff must prove that he or she was injured or suffered damages because of the defendant’s breach.

When you’re trying to understand something as complicated as tort law, two things can help: seeing some tort law examples in action and talking to a personal injury lawyer.

Examples of Tort Cases

Let’s look at some examples that show tort law in action.

Negligence Torts 

  • Medical mistakes
  • Slip-and-fall accidents
  • Accidents involving vehicles

Intentional Harm Torts

  • Assault and battery
  • Intentional infliction of emotional distress
  • Fraud
  • Defamation

Strict Liability Torts

  • Defective products and services
  • Possessing dangerous animals
  • Engaging in abnormally dangerous activities

In most tort cases, the plaintiffs seek compensation from the parties that harmed them. In fact, sometimes tort law is called restorative justice.

If Someone has Harmed you, Tort Law Might Help You Recover.

For 115 years, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Powell Law have provided valuable assistance to residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania seeking to recover damages for injuries or harm caused by any type of tort, whether based on intentional or negligent conduct, or actions for which strict or absolute liability may be imposed. Contact Powell Law at (570) 961-0777 or visit us online. Call now for a FREE case evaluation. You don’t pay unless we win!

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