Simply put, tort law is a specialized area of law that covers the kinds of violations wherein someone has suffered as a result of another person’s behavior. This could be suffering in the sense of an injury, an unfair loss, harm, or any other kind of suffering. On the whole, tort law is a pretty broad category of law that includes various sorts of personal injury claims.
There are two basic purposes that tort law serves:
- To ensure that any victim is compensated for any losses caused by the violations of the defendant.
- To discourage any repeat violations from the defendant in the future.
How is a Tort Classified?
There are 3 broad categories through which a tort can be classified:
- An intentional tort, such as battery
- An unintentional tort, such as a slip and fall case resulting from negligence
- A strict liability tort, such as a case involving dangerous materials
Torts don’t fall under criminal law; rather they fall under the category of civil law. Some torts, therefore, can often involve conduct that wouldn’t be classed as illegal, but nevertheless causes another person to become harmed. Some tort cases such as assault, for example, can, however, overlap into criminal law.
Examples of Torts
Some of the most commonly found examples of torts include:
- Dangerous products
- Claims related to negligence
- Intentionally inflicted emotional distress
- Wrongful death
- Civil battery or assault
Some tort cases allow for the plaintiff to receive “punitive damages.” An additional damages award, this essentially to punish the defendant for their violation. This can often be quite high when compared to the losses that the victim has sustained.
How Are Tort Cases Resolved?
Tort cases can be resolved in any manner of ways, depending upon the type of violation that has occurred and the severity of the victim’s injuries and losses. Some common ways that tort cases are resolved include the following:
- For economic losses, monetary damages can be awarded
- Monetary damages can also be awarded for other losses such as lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other examples
- The court could require that the defendant immediately stop whatever their harmful actions are or start acting in a way to remedy the situation.