Though the titled term may be a bit unfamiliar to many, it is not as complex as it might sound. A tort is a civil law term used to describe certain types of personal injury situations. While quite a lot of personal injury situations are the result of accidents, not all of them are. When the harm done is intentional, you may be speaking of an intentional tort. Victims can be paid money damages if they can prove the harm done was intentional, so read on and find out more.
It Could Be a Criminal Matter, Too
Intentional torts can be very serious indeed. So much so that the incident surrounding the harm done might also be prosecuted in a criminal court. Take a look at just a few examples of common criminal acts in which the victim can take civil action as well:
- A homicide case may also be a wrongful death case in civil court (just like the O.J. Simpson/Nicole Brown case).
- A medical battery case may also be a medical malpractice case in civil court.
- A harassment case may also be a defamation case in civil court.
In terms of what the difference means to victims, criminal cases may provide some satisfaction to crime victims but not money. Civil cases, however, can provide monetary compensation to these victims. It's important to note that not all criminal cases can be linked to a civil case and vise versa. You can absolutely take legal action against a place or person that has harmed you with or without associated criminal proceedings. Understand, too, that more and more criminal courts are imposing restitution on the defendants that are convicted of crimes. If you have received restitution, check with a personal injury lawyer to find out if you can still file a civil suit against the defendant.
Accident or Not?
It can be difficult to prove that something rose to the level of an intentional tort over an ordinary accident, but there are financial incentives for those that can. For example, a sideswipe accident might have been caused by someone fleeing from law enforcement. That turns an accident into a potential intentional tort. That also means the victim may be entitled to not only compensatory damages but punitive damages as well and that can mean a great deal more money. To find out more, speak to a personal injury lawyer.