Before we begin our discussion, let’s get one thing straight – Torts Law is as important as any other law so if you think you can trick your way out of it, you’ve got another thing coming. A tort can be described as an act or omission that can cause injury or harm to another and amounts to a civil wrong for which courts impose liability (on the person who caused the damage). The party or person who is harmed is known as the plaintiff while the one causing the harm is called the defendant. Tort law, therefore, determines whether a person (or party) should be held legally responsible for an injury against another, as well as the type of compensation the injured party is entitled to.
Elements Of Tort Law
There are basic four elements of any torts case: duty, breach duty, causation and injury. Duty is the obligation of the defendant to the plaintiff in the first place. For example, it is the obligation of a storekeeper to provide you with fresh items. Breach of duty is when the shopkeeper knowingly or unknowingly provides you with an expired product. That product causes you health problems (causation) and as a result, you’re sick (injury). Pretty basic but very important when trying to understand the concept of torts law.
Types Of Torts
In the United States of America and most other countries, there are 3 types of torts: intentional, negligence and strict-liability.
An intentional tort is when an individual or a party purposely engages in an act that causes injury or damage to another individual or a party. For example, hitting someone in a fight with the sole purpose of causing them physical harm falls under the category of Intentional torts. One might say that an intentional tort should then be categorized as criminal law but there is one difference – criminal law focuses on the society as a whole whereas torts are for individuals. If a person starts firing openly, it comes under the horizon of criminal law whereas if you’re scaring someone on purpose or threatening them, it comes under intentional tort.
Some other examples of intentional torts are fraud, deceit, assault, battery, false imprisonment and trespassing (on purpose). So if you’ve been a victim of something similar, pick up the phone and call your lawyer.
There is a described code of conduct and obligation which every person is expected to follow and a legal duty of the public to act a certain way in their dealings. A failure to fulfill these standards is termed as negligence and if it causes another entity harm, it’s called a negligence tort. Negligence torts are the most common type of torts found. For example, an accident caused by a car that was driving while the signal was red. Now that driver did not intentionally want to injure the person with whom his car collided but he decided to break the signal and as a result, an injury was caused to someone. Similarly, a pharmacist not checking the expiry date of a medicine because he is just too lazy, is also considered as a negligence tort. The punishment or compensation is different from Intentional torts depending on the harm inflicted by the plaintiff and the level of negligence.
Strict Liability Torts
Strict, or “Absolute” liability applies to cases where responsibility for an injury can be imposed on the wrongdoer (defendant) without any proof of negligence or direct fault. The only thing that matters is that an act or action caused injury or harm to another person. It doesn’t matter that whether the act was done on purpose or was it due to negligence. For example, faulty products were manufactured by a company, customers used those products and as a result, they got sick. The plaintiff, in such cases, only have to show that their injury was because of using that product. Even if the company making those products didn’t know they were faulty, they are still liable and hence, fall under the strict liability torts category. Other examples are someone’s dog biting another person walking on the road (the owner is penalized) or someone fires a cracker which makes a person who is passing by, blind.
That’s What Tort Law Does
We hope after going through this discussion, you’ll have a basic idea of torts and torts law. Any act that is a civil wrong and caused harm falls under the torts law. It’s not the same as criminal law because of certain differences but it is equally important, if not more.