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What is a Tort?
A tort is an action or inaction, also known as negligence that causes an injury and thus forms the basis of a civil lawsuit. As a part of civil law, tort law serves a purpose distinct from any concurrent criminal liability. Tort cases are intended to provide compensation to the injured party and to discourage the continuation or repetition of the injury-causing behavior. A court may grant an injunction to stop the problem from continuing, and it may award the victim financial compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical costs. Torts and personal injury claims may be brought on three different grounds:
This occurs when a person or company fails to prevent an injury by allowing for unsafe conditions or engaging in unsafe behavior.
This applies when the personal injury is the result of reckless, dangerous, or harmful behavior that the defendant recognized as such but continued anyway, resulting in injury to another.
This category applies to manufacturers whose products must meet certain standards of safety.
States are responsible for establishing tort law, both by decisions in specific tort law cases and through legislation.
Tort Law Body of Rights
Tort law consists of a body of rights, responsibilities, and responses that civil courts use in dealing with cases where the plaintiff is injured because of the defendant’s illegal behavior. If defendants are found to have legal liability, they may be obligated to pay for damages to the victim. Such damages may include compensation for medical expenses, lost pay, and emotional trauma.
Three Elements of Tort
In order for the plaintiff to win damages, the personal injury attorney must establish the following three elements:
- The defendant had a legal obligation to behave (or refrain from behaving) in a certain way.
- The defendant failed to fulfill this obligation by acting inappropriately.
- The plaintiff’s personal injury was caused because of the defendant’s legal breech of conduct.
Once these three critical statements are determined to be the case, the court may offer compensation to the injured victim of negligence or intentional misdeed.
Four Objectives of Tort Law
Tort law serves four main objectives.
- Compensating personal injury victims who sustain injuries due to the wrongful acts of another person or entity
- Transferring the financial costs from the victim to the person responsible for the injury
- Preventing the repetition of reckless or intentionally harmful action in the future
- Defending the law and the rights of victims
Tort accomplishes its ends by awarding damages to victims who suffer injury through the fault of another.