The word “tort” is often mentioned in legal discussions related to personal injury. Many people outside of the legal industry don’t know what a tort is and why it’s important.
Understanding torts and the ways in which they influence personal injury law can help you when seeking compensation for your injuries.
What is a Tort?
A tort is simply any act or omission that leads to harm or injury to another party. Torts lead to liabilities imposed by the courts for civil wrongdoings.
“Harm” is defined as any loss suffered by an individual, whereas an “injury” is the invasion of that individual’s rights.
The state of Georgia defines torts as unlawful violations of a party’s private legal right. In addition, this definition excludes implied or expressed breaches of contract.
Unlike crimes, which are viewed as wrongful actions against society or the state, torts are primarily concerned with compensating the victims for personal wrongdoings they have suffered.
Tort actions also don’t require intent, and claims must include the following four elements:
- Breach of Duty
- Proximate Cause
Duty describes the legal obligation of care that a defendant has towards the plaintiff. When that legal duty has been violated, a breach of duty has occurred.
Damages occur when you have suffered harm and entitles you to receive monetary compensation for your damages.
Proximate cause is the relationship between the breach of duty and the injuries sustained by the plaintiff. The relationship must be proximal so that it’s considered to be one of the legal causes of that injury.
Tort law allows individuals to resolve their disputes related to personal injury. It allows the injured party to be compensated, and it helps to define the duties of individuals in a way that creates an incentive to not cause injuries to others.
Tort law deters people from committing acts that result in harm or injury to others while holding guilty parties responsible for their actions.
Tort laws can differ between states, and judges have the ability to determine which actions are considered to be wrongdoings as defined by the law.
Tort law also includes three categories of torts:
- Strict Liability
Intentional torts are those actions that were carried out with intent to cause harm or injury to another party.
Negligent torts are the result of some failure to act or obey the law, leading to the personal injury of an individual.
Strict liability torts are those related to the manufacture and sale of products that are defective and have led to injury or harm.
Tort law can also be distinguished by categories that include defamation, invasion of privacy, and economic torts. Tort actions include battery, negligence, trespassing, and assault among many others.
Resolution of Torts
Tort law lets you receive compensations for your losses. Monetary rewards, injunctions, and restitutions are commonly granted in tort cases. Punitive damages may also be applied in some tort cases.
Factors that are used to determine monetary compensation include the loss of future earnings, medical costs, and pain and suffering.
Compensation is used to cover the financial losses that were the result of the actions of the defendant. These can be used to restore damage to an individual’s property as well as provide compensation for those personal losses mentioned above.
Understanding tort law is important to filing a personal injury claim. Torts must include the elements of duty, breach of duty, damages, and proximate cause. In addition, there are many different types of tort actions that can lead to personal injury.
The more you know about torts, the more likely you are to achieve the resolution that provides you with a just compensation for your claim. Consulting with a skilled personal injury attorney will provide you with additional resources to protect you and your family.