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Personal Injury Cases: Intentional Torts vs. Negligence

December 30, 2013 | Category: | Share

Whenever an individual is injured be it emotionally or physically, or his or her personal property is damaged, such injuries and/or damages are covered under personal injury law or "tort" law. Tort laws have been enacted by both the federal and state governments in order to protect the rights of harmed individuals. Fort Myers personal injury lawyers will tell you that whenever a person harms another individual or does damage to another person's possessions, he or she will need to answer for their actions under the appropriate tort laws that govern the particular situation.

Generally speaking, there are three elements to tort actions. First of all, a duty must exist between the individual doing the harm (the defendant) and the person who was harmed (the plaintiff). Next, that duty must have been breached (or broken). And lastly, the damage incurred must have been due to or caused by that breach of duty. If all three of the elements exist, a tort or personal injury has taken place. That said, liability under tort law can be caused by either purposeful or intentional acts or by negligent acts.

Intentional Torts

So, what are intentional torts? Simply stated, an intentional tort is a type of legal action or wrong that is done on purpose against an individual or an individual's property. Fort Myers personal injury lawyer Randall Spivey often sees clients who have experienced harms that are devastating, particularly because such acts are typically designed to cause injury and/or harm.  Examples of intentional torts include assault and battery, false imprisonment and trespassing.

For instance, if someone gets mad and throws a brick at the window of an individual's motor vehicle for the purpose of hurting the person inside the automobile, that act can be considered an intentional tort (and it might be deemed a criminal act as well). It was clear that the defendant wanted to cause injury to the individual and damage resulted from the defendant's breach of duty not to cause harm to another.

Negligent Acts

Negligent acts can take place when an individual fails to act appropriately in a situation and that failure to act causes harm to another person. For example, if the driver of an automobile causes an accident by carelessly running into another person's vehicle; the driver might not have intended to hurt anyone, but he or she failed to take the proper actions in order to prevent the injury and/or harm from occurring.

There are a variety of accidents cases that are considered to be negligent torts. Automobile accidents and slip and fall cases are two of the most common, and those sustaining injuries for such accidents often expect to receive compensation. It is important to note that the plaintiff in a negligence tort case must have suffered an actual harm or "damages" as a result of the accident. Individuals who are injured due to someone's negligence can seek to obtain compensation for things such as lost wages, medical expenses, property damage and pain and suffering.

If you or someone you love has been injured by an individual, and you have questions about your entitlement to compensation, contact the Fort Myers personal injury lawyers at The Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, PA today.

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