TORT LAW – MEANING AND TYPES WITH EXAMPLES by VANDANA YADAV

TORT LAW- MEANING, TYPES WITH EXAMPLES

What is Tort Law
Tort law is the body of laws that enables people to seek compensation for wrongs committed against them. When someone’s actions cause some type of harm to another, whether it be physical harm to another person, or harm to someone’s property or reputation, the harmed or injured person or entity may seek damages through the court.
Damages are a monetary award ordered by the court to be paid to an injured party, by the party at fault. Damages may be awarded in compensation for loss of, or damage to, personal or real property for an injury, or for a financial loss.
The types of damages that may be awarded by the court for civil wrongs, called “tortious conduct,” of an individual or entity include:
 Reimbursement for property loss or property damage
 Medical expenses
 Pain and suffering
 Loss of earning capacity
 Punitive damages
Tort Liability
The legal term tort refers to an action in which one person or entity causes injury, harm, or damage to another person or entity. A tort liability may occur as a result of intentional acts, a negligent act, a failure to act when the individual had a duty to act, or a violation of statutes or laws. The individual who commits the tortious act (the act leading to the tort liability claim) is called the “tortfeasor,” and is the defendant in this type of civil lawsuit. Such a defendant is generally held liable for damages or harm suffered by the plaintiff, as a result of the defendant’s acts.
In many tort cases, the damages or injury suffered by the plaintiff do not have to be physical injury. A defendant in a tort liability case, who is found to be liable for his or her tortious acts, may be ordered to pay damages for harm, such as violation of personal rights, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
Types of Tort
There are a number of specific types of tort that form the basis of the majority of civil lawsuits in the United States. These include, among others:
 Negligence
 Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
 Assault
 Battery
 Trespass
 Products Liability
Tort law divides most specific torts into three general categories:
1. Intentional Torts – the causing of harm by an intentional act, such as intentionally conning someone out of his money.
2. Negligent Torts – the causing of harm through some negligent act, such as causing a car accident .
3. STRICT LIABILITY Torts – the result of harm incurred due to the actions of another, with no finding of fault by the defendant.
Additional and separate specific torts include:
 Defamation Torts
 Nuisance Torts
 Privacy Torts
 Economic Torts
Intentional Torts
Intentional torts are acts committed with the intent to harm another, or to deliberately interfere with an individual’s rights to bodily safety, emotional tranquility, privacy, control over property, freedom from deception, and freedom from confinement. Intentional torts commonly include such issues as assault and/or battery, false imprisonment, invasion of privacy, theft, property damage, fraud or other deception, and trespassing.
Intent is a key issue in proving an intentional tort, as the injured party, called the Plaintiff, must prove to the court that the other party, called the Respondent or Defendant, acted intentionally, and knew that his actions could cause harm. In some cases, the Plaintiff need only prove that the Defendant should have known that his actions could cause harm. Many intentional torts may also be charged as criminal offenses.
Tort examples:
Raymond stops by the local bar for a few drinks before he heads home after work. After drinking four cocktails, Raymond gets into his car, and runs a stop sign, crashing into another car, seriously injuring its occupants. Although Raymond might argue that he didn’t know he would hurt someone, it is expected that Raymond should have known that driving under the influence is likely to cause harm, or to kill another person.
Because Raymond intentionally drank alcohol, knowing he planned on driving home, and any reasonable person should know that drinking and driving could result in harm, he has committed an intentional tort. In addition, Raymond may be criminally charged with felony DUI.
Negligent Torts
The acts leading to claims of harm or injury in negligent torts are not intentional. There are three specific elements that must be satisfied in a claim of negligence:
1. The defendant must have a duty or owe a service to the plaintiff or victim
2. The defendant must have failed that duty, or violated a promise or obligation to the plaintiff
3. The plaintiff must have suffered an actual loss, injury, or damages that were directly caused by the plaintiff’s actions, or failure to act
Strict Liability Torts
Strict liability refers to the concept of imposing liability on a defendant, usually a manufacturer, without proving negligent fault, or intent to cause harm. The purpose of strict liability torts is to regulate activities that are acknowledged as being necessary and useful to society, but which pose an abnormally high risk of danger to the public.
Such activities may include transportation and storage of hazardous substances, blasting, and keeping certain wild animals in captivity. The possibility of civil lawsuits under strict liability torts keeps individuals or corporations undertaking such dangerous acts diligent in taking every possible precaution to keep the public safe.

VANDANA YADAV
DATE- 22 MAY, 2021

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