Tort Law

Reviewed by Sweta | Updated on Aug 27, 2020

Introduction

Tort law governs the remedies for civil wrongs. A person is liable for the wrongful act, whether done accidentally or intentionally. The injured or the aggrieved party is compensated by the payment for damages.

Damages may include compensation for loss of property, medical expenses, mental or physical incapability, pain and suffering, and punitive damages to punish the wrongdoer.

Most of the claims that arise under civil suits, except contractual claims, are governed by the tort law. The intention of the tort law is to provide relief from wrongful acts of others through monetary compensation.

Understanding Tort Law

A tort may include physical or mental harm, damage or loss of property, a financial loss, and so on. Examples of harms include loss of past or future income.

The compensation by way of damages is awarded by the Court. The injured party will seek compensation through a Court process. Liability under tort may arise due to negligence, intentional failure to act where the individual has a duty to act or a violation of statutes.

Thus, the three categories under tort law are negligent tort, intentional tort, and strict liability torts. Accidents are considered as negligent torts. Theft is an example of an intentional tort, i.e. harm done to people intentionally or willful misconduct.

Manufacture or production of defective goods is liable for damages in tort under strict liability. Strict liability torts are concerned with the culpable state of mind of the person doing harm.

The individual who commits the act in tort is called the ‘tortfeasor’ and would be the defendant in the civil lawsuit involving the tortious act.

In a case dated February 2016, a self-driving car made by Google crashed into a bus in Mountain View, California. The car sensed a group of sandbags positioned around a storm drain and swerved into another lane to avoid them, slamming into the side of a public transit bus. Under the law of torts, drivers can seek compensation from the manufacturer for a faulty part of a car.