Product Liability Lawyer
A tort is an act or omission of an act by an individual that gave rise to injury for which courts impose liability. The primary aims of tort law are to (1) provide relief to injured parties for harms caused by others, to impose liability on parties responsible for the harm, and to deter other from committing harmful acts. The following is a brief overview of tort law by a product liabiilty lawyer from Eglet Adams.
Tort law varies by state and judges have wide latitude in determining what actions are civil wrongs, the proper amount of damages, and potential defenses. Tort law falls into three broad categories: (1) intentional torts; (2) negligent torts; and (3) strict liability torts. Intentional torts are wrongful actions that the defendant knew or should have known would result through his or her actions or omissions. Negligent torts occur when the defendant’s actions were unreasonably unsafe. Strict liability torts require a court to focus on whether a particular result or harm occurred.
The most common tort is that of negligence. A negligent tort is an act by an individual where the individual fails to behave with the level of care that an ordinary person in those circumstances would be expected to take under those same circumstances. There are four elements to negligence torts – (1) duty; (2) breach; (3) causation; and (4) damages. Duty refers to the proper actions that a defendant should’ve taken given the circumstances. A breach is a failure to meet that duty by not acting properly. Causation requires that the plaintiff show that because the defendant breached his or her duty, that breach of duty caused damages to the plaintiff. And damages are the injuries that the plaintiffs suffers as a result of the breach.
Injured parties may bring suit for any type of tort and recover damages. Damages can be compensatory, injunctive, and/or punitive. Compensatory damages are money damages for incurred and expected losses and are typically equal to the monetary value of the injured party’s loss of earnings, loss of future earning capacity, pain and suffering, and reasonable medical expenses. An injunction is a court order that compels a party to cease an activity. For a court to grant an injunction, the plaintiff (i.e., the injured party) must prove that it would suffer considerable or irreparable harm without the court’s intervention. Punitive damages are money damages in addition to compensatory damages that are intended to deter further misconduct.
Torts are not the same as criminal charges. Crimes are wrongs against the state or society at large and intended to punish the wrongdoer. The main purpose of criminal liability is to enforce public safety. The main purpose of tort law is to address private wrongs and to compensate the victim, not to punish the wrongdoer. Notably, some wrongful acts may provide a basis for both tort and criminal liability. For example, an assault and battery criminal conviction could lead to a tortious lawsuit against the defendant to provide a monetary remedy to the plaintiff.