If you’re like most people, when you hear the world “torte” you think of the many varieties of wonderfully delicious cakes. In the legal field, though, “torts” are something completely different. A tort is a civil wrong, different than criminal liability, that causes someone harm or loss and results in legal liability for the person who did wrong.
Injuries to people – often called personal injuries – usually are the result of a tort.
Most people are familiar with the general idea of a what a personal injury is – if someone wrongly hurts you, then you can sue for damages. However, it’s much more nuanced than that. There’s an incredible range of types of personal injuries, but they largely can be narrowed down to three categories: intentional torts, negligence, and strict liability.
Intentional torts include civil cases for acts like assault, battery, and trespass. You’ll often see cases for strict liability where there’s a defective product that has harmed the user. Negligence cases are the most common type of tort and personal injury.
Negligence means that although someone wasn’t acting purposefully, they harmed another person or someone’s property due to their failure to use reasonable caution or care. While this is the general definition, it can look different depending on the facts. Some examples are:
- Car accidents caused by a texting or speeding driver;
- Falling from a ladder or scaffolding during a construction project; and
- Falling and being injured because building owners didn’t properly shovel their sidewalks in the winter.
Regardless of whether a personal injury case is based in negligence, an intentional act, or in strict liability, the goal is to make the injured person whole. This is done by an award of money damages. Some damages are easier to determine than others. Medical bills and receipts for costs associated with the injury can be pretty easy to calculate.
But the cost of pain and suffering and lost opportunities due to the injuries may be harder to determine, and yet these sorts of damages are real. They often can be the most serious damage that the injured person shoulders.
Personal injury cases can be complicated, and you don’t have to wrestle with insurance companies on your own. Our team of dedicated attorneys are here to guide you through the process and help make you whole.