There are constantly demands from some politicians for “tort reform.” The main objective of which is to limit the amount of monetary compensation an individual can receive when suing for personal injury. Usually, the individuals or entities in favor of such reform are insurance carriers and large corporations who often are the ones held accountable in personal injury lawsuits. However, the law says that if you are harmed by someone else’s actions
– whether intentional or unintentional – you are entitled to seek monetary damages.
To understand tort law, first we should examine its different categories. The most common is negligence. This includes automobile or motorcycle accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, and “slip and fall” accidents. In these instances, typically there is no intent to cause personal injury. However, if you are harmed as the result of someone else failing to act with reasonable care, the individual or entity responsible for driving that car or motorcycle, owning that construction site or company; performing that medical procedure; or owning that property may be held responsible in a court of law.
Strict liability, is a subcategory within tort law, and some attorneys focus only on this area. A strict liability lawsuit can be brought against a company if their product (such as an infant’s car seat, for example) fails to work properly and causes personal injury, regardless of the injured person’s contributory actions. Strict liability may also apply to construction site accidents.
An intentional tort is a deliberate action on the part of an individual or entity to do harm. For example, two neighbors have a heated argument, and one assaults (punches him in the nose) the other. Criminal charges often follow, and may support a personal injury civil case.
Intentional tort also may include harassment and emotional distress. Recently, we’ve seen many examples of bullying in the news. It has been estimated that nearly 30% of school-age children either are the victims of bullying or are bullies, themselves. And, this is not just “kids’ stuff” any more. Sometimes the victims can become so isolated and depressed that they contemplate suicide or actually follow through with it.
While most of us think of bullying as a schoolyard fight, bullying also includes emotional intimidation and is not limited only to children. Adults can be bullied in the workplace; neighbors can be bullied by their neighbors.
Finally . . .
Tort law is a complicated and highly specialized field of law. If you find yourself the victim of a personal injury, be it as a result of negligence, medical malpractice, or product malfunction; or, if you are injured because someone else intended to do you harm, be certain to do your research and select an attorney who focuses on your specific problem. When an attorney focuses on specific areas of the law, he or she has the experience you need to achieve a successful outcome.