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Torts; The Three Main Types You Need To Know

Writing Notes

Personal Injury Law Glossary

A tort is an action that causes injury to someone else. If you have been the victim of a tort, you are entitled to bring a civil court case against the person committing the tort (the tortfeasor).

The three main types of torts:

(1) intentional – an act that the offender decided to commit; many of these also carry criminal charges, leading to an individual possibly being brought to both civil and criminal court.

(2) negligent – a tort that happened because the offender was not being as careful as they should have been; many car accidents are considered negligent torts. If someone hits your car, more often they did not intend to hit you on purpose. Nevertheless, that does not change the fact that that action may have injured you and damaged your property because they were following too closely and not paying attention. These torts can also carry criminal charges, often in the form of a traffic ticket. These criminal charges are less likely to be pursued over intentional torts.

(3) strict liability – the making and/or selling of defective product 

NOTE: Many torts can also carry criminal charges. Criminal and civil tort cases have different intended results: criminal courts can sometimes order restitution to be paid to victims whereas civil courts are meant not to punish lawbreaking, but to make sure victims of torts are properly compensated for their losses.[1]

[1] Kickertz v. New York University, 110 A.D. 3d 268, 280 (1st Dep’t 2013).



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