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Tort Law At A Glance


What is Tort Law?

Tort law is a legal methodology which covers civil wrongdoings; tort law is typically applied to non-criminal infractions, such as defamation and trespassing. Under the scope of tort law, if an individual suffers a legal, physical or economic harm, he or she will be entitled to filing a suit against the negligent or aggressive party. If the underlying suit is deemed valid, damages may be awarded to the victim in order to compensate for his or her damages incurred. The majority of tort laws are established through statute and located in various regional, state and federal civil codes. Each code will typically define the limits in regards to compensation and the statute of limitations applied to the specific tort law.

Categories of Tort Law:

Tort law is predominantly classified into the following three categories: intentional torts, strict liability torts and negligent torts. Those torts that arise out of negligence encompass a civil wrong precipitated by a negligent action or a failure to practice due diligence. A negligent tort case may arise, for example, if an individual breaks a glass bottle (in an accidental manner) on the door stop of their neighbor’s home. If the neighbor sustains an injury as a result of stepping on the fragmented glass, the individual may sue, under tort law, for physical damages incurred as a result of negligent or careless actions. The issue that tort law will inspect is not the breaking of the bottle, but the failure to inform the neighbor of the broken glass and the failure to clean up the remnants.

An intentional tort will involve a deliberate attempt to impose harm on an individual or entity. Defamation is commonly attached to this classification, along with false imprisonment, batter and interfering with an entity’s economic operation. The degree of liability, in regards to an intentional tart, is based off a review of the damages imposed from the deliberate action. Using the example above, the difference between an intentional tort and a negligent tort, would be if the individual broke the glass battle with the intention of injuring his or her neighbor.

A strict liability tort will cover issues that arise from product liability cases. Strict liability torts will evaluate liability and subsequently reward the injured party based on a review of the damages, injuries or harm sustained by the victim. In addition to product liability cases, this category of tort law will also be attached to cases involving potentially-hazardous merchandise and consumer safety issues. An example of a strict liability tort would be if the glass bottle, used in the previous example, was manufactured with an inherent flaw; this flaw ultimately caused the glass bottle to shatter. Any subsequent injuries that arose from the shattering will be placed against the manufacturer based on an interpretation of the underlying strict liability tort.

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