Tort Law Terms
Tort Law Terms
Michael Ehline (Attorney at Law) gives expert video advice on: What is a 'tort'?; What kinds of situations does tort law deal with?; Is a tort a crime? and more...
What is a 'tort'?
A tort is a civil wrong other than a breach of contract for which the law provides a remedy. Tort law basically prevents people from taking the law into their own hands by providing a social remedy; it's akin to a social contract because it implies a duty of everybody out there to behave in a reasonable manner. If they breach that duty, the law provides a way for you (or the person harmed) to go into court and seek money damages.
What kinds of situations does tort law deal with?
Tort law deals with situations where you have a defendant, someone who has wronged another, and a plaintiff, someone who is wronged. The types of wrongs that are most common in torts are situations where you have car accidents, truck accidents, slip and falls in a grocery store on liquid the manager knew or should have known about. Some situations include intentional torts such as assault and battery where someone is punched. But the most common are just ordinary negligence claims where someone simply wasn't paying attention and abiding by their social duty to act reasonably.
Is a tort a crime?
A tort is not a crime, but a crime can come from a tort. In other words, a battery is a tort, but it's also a crime. And the definitions are slightly different, but they basically both are the same: you were punched or you were hit or you were touched improperly, and that caused damages or harm.
What are 'mass torts'?
Mass torts usually involve a situation where you have a large group of people suing a large corporation or business entity. For example, that business entity may have released a product into the flow of commerce, which may have damaged people. Such as a defective car part that could have caused an exploding gas tank, for example. And could have caused fire burns to the passengers and those cars. Rather than suing individually, these people can join together in a lawsuit because they all have a common interest. And it's a common fact pattern and these types of cases are also known as class action lawsuits.
What is a tort liability?
A tort liability is simply a liability of a party who has committed a tort. Examples of a tort liability could be violation of a vehicle code section. It could be a crime to violate the vehicle code section. But it could also be negligence per say, where the law simply makes you liable for violating that section. If they conclude that you conducted in violating that section caused an accident or injury to another.
What is a 'tortfeasor'?
Tortfeasor comes from ancient Latin and it just simply means someone who has caused a tort or an injury to another.