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Category:Injury and Tort Law

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What Is Tort Law?

The personal injury and tort law category includes topics related to the mechanics, types, elements, defenses and remedies associated with tort law. A personal injury and tort law definition also encompasses concepts related to other aspects of substantive and procedural personal injury law. While it can encompass a broad range of possible legal wrongs, "personal injury" is a term most frequently associated with a few common types of legal claims, such as slip-and-fall, auto accident, or professional malpractice cases. A comprehensive tort law definition would include these common types of claims, along with a host of other possible injuries -- anything from negligent hiring by an employer, to negligent pollution by a corporation that results in environmental damage or causes illnesses in a nearby population. Some torts, like trespassing or defamation, sometimes don't even have to result in actual injury to be legally actionable.

Personal injury and tort law involves civil proceedings which seek monetary relief for harm suffered from a failure to act or breach of duty to act. The victim of the personal injury-- who sustains injury or suffers damage--is known as the plaintiff . The person who's action or inaction caused the damage is known as the defendant or tortfeasor .

Types of Torts

There are three main types of torts: Negligence, torts in strict liability, and intentional torts.

Negligence involves the departure from a reasonable standard of care which causes harm. As such a tortfeasor does not need to intend harm to be held responsible for negligence. The elements of negligence include a duty to act, breach of the duty to act, causation, and harm.

Torts in strict liability do not depend on intent but focus on inherently dangerous action that poses undue risk on the public. Common torts in strict liability involve inherently dangerous activity such as working with explosives or fireworks, harm caused by animals, and actions in product liability against manufacturers and designers.

A final category in the tort law definition is the intentional tort. Intentional torts require requisite intent to harm. Some intentional torts may also involve an action that is criminal. If the action is brought as a tort in a civil action of law, compensation would be sought to remedy harm. Intentional torts include assault, battery, false imprisonment, defamation, and fraud to name a few.

Defenses to Personal Injury Actions

Common defenses for personal injury actions include comparative negligence, assumption of risk, and statute of limitations. Liability can also be transferred or shared if there were multiple tortfeasors.

Damages in Personal Injury

Damages can include nominal damages, general damages and specific compensatory damages, and punitive damages if applicable. Also, there may be damages for physical injury to property.

Additional Resources

Tort Law Resources on FindLaw


FindLaw Lawyer Directory: Tort Law Attorneys

More Personal Injury Attorneys »

Contributors

FindLaw Brian, FindLaw Nira, FindLaw Pierre, FindLaw Sarah, FindLaw dave, Sfitzpatrick

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