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What is a Tort?
A tort occurs when one party causes injury, damage, or wrong to another party. The injury may be inflicted either intentionally or as a result of a breach of duty (negligence), or due to a violation of strict liability statutes. Some common types of tort claims include:
- Slip and fall injuries
- Assault and battery
- Products liability
- Premises liability
The word “tort” derives from the Latin term meaning “twist” or disfigure. Thus, tort claims often involve physical injury to the plaintiff, though they may involve other types of injuries (such as economic loss). The main purpose of tort law is to reimburse the victim for losses connected with their injury. The most common form of tort action is that of negligence.
What kind of Cases do Tort Lawyers handle?
Lawyers who practice in the area of tort law may sometimes handle a wide variety of claims. This is because tort claims can involve a wide variety of subject matters. For example, almost all personal injury cases fall within the category of tort law. These can include slip and fall injuries, automobile accidents, and medical malpractice suits
Also, it is common for a lawsuit to involve many different torts in a single case. This is particularly true where one incident involves a string of injuries. Furthermore, tort cases can sometimes involve several different parties who all share liability for the injury. This is common in medical malpractice suits, where several health care professionals may be responsible for the patient’s injuries.
This means that a lawyer who handles tort cases must be prepared to deal with many issues, some of which may be overlapping in a single claim.
What Types of Remedies are Available in a Tort Cause of Action?
As mentioned, the main goal of tort laws is to reimburse the victim for their losses caused by the defendant. In the majority of tort lawsuit, the appropriate remedy is a monetary award that is calculated based on the degree of injury to the plaintiff. The monetary damages may include costs for medical expenses, lost capabilities (such as loss of a bodily function), and for lost wages. However, the losses must be directly traceable to the injury.
Another type of remedy frequently associated with tort claims is that of an injunction. An injunction is a type of court order that directs the plaintiff to stop their conduct or ordering them to perform a certain action. Injunctions are common in cases where monetary damages will not fully remedy the plaintiff’s losses. They are also common in nuisance-type claims, where the defendant’s repeated actions are the cause of the plaintiff’s losses.
Are there any Defenses available in a Tort Lawsuit?
One of the more common defenses in a tort suit is that of consent. That is, if the victim actually consented to the defendant’s conduct, they will not be able to recover for their losses.
Another common defense in a tort cause of action is that of self-defense. For instance, a person may injure another out of self-defense. If they can prove that they were attacked first and did not cause the altercation, they may have a valid defense.
There are several other types of defenses that might apply in a tort lawsuit. You may wish to consult with an attorney if you have questions regarding the various types of defenses to a tort.
Should I hire a Torts Lawyer if I have been Injured?
If you have received losses due to an injury, you may wish to speak to a lawyer who specializes in torts. A lawyer can help you obtain monetary damages for your losses. An attorney can also assist you with filing your claim and providing you with advice regarding your legal issue. Tort laws may vary according to jurisdiction, so be sure to inquire with your attorney if you are unsure of the laws of your area.
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Last Modified: 07-24-2013 11:05 AM PDT
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