A tort is the legal term for an act or omission that causes harm to someone else. If someone else commits a tort against you, you have the grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against that person or entity and seek compensation for damages. In order to receive compensation, however, you have to provide evidence to the other party’s insurance provider and/or the court that proves that the other party committed a tort and you came to harm as a result.
Most personal injury liability claims arise from negligent torts. This type arises when a personal injury results from behavior that does not support the duty of care that the negligent party owes to someone else. Negligence arises from thoughtlessness, incompetence, or inattention rather than malicious intent.
However, negligence is only one of several possible bases for personal injury liability. There are three other types of torts, and each may be the basis for a personal injury lawsuit depending on the laws of the jurisdiction.
An intentional tort occurs when a person deliberately acts in a way that causes harm to another person despite owing a duty of care to the other individual. What is important in an intentional tort is whether or not the action was deliberate, not whether the other party meant to do you harm. For example, someone could strike you without intending to cause damage, but knowing that hitting you had the potential to injure you and doing it anyway could qualify as an intentional tort. Intentional torts are relatively rare, but defendants in intentional court lawsuits may also face criminal charges depending on the seriousness of their behavior.
Strict liability laws often, though not always, apply to the manufacturers and designers of products that prove to be defective. To win damages in a strict liability case, you need to prove that the product was designed in such a way that, when used as intended, it would pose an unreasonable danger. If you can prove that, then you do not need to prove that the designers and/or manufacturers were negligent.
This occurs when a third party is held responsible for an injury to someone else by a negligent person. For example, employers are often held accountable for employees who are negligent in performing their job duties if others are injured as a result.
The different types of torts can be confusing to those without legal training. Fortunately, a personal injury attorney has the necessary training to determine how tort law applies to your situation. To arrange a consultation, contact our office today.