A “tort” is different from criminal wrongdoing. A tort violation involves the breach of a civil duty owed to someone else. The injured party, or plaintiff, can sue in tort to recover damages due to the defendant’s wrongdoing.
The violation of a crime is not tort (although the two sometimes overlap). Moreover, the state or federal government is the enforcer of criminal wrongdoing and seeks criminal conviction against the person alleged to have committed the crime.
Tort law entitles injured persons to receive monetary compensation from those responsible for their injuries. Those injuries include pain and suffering, physical, emotional, economic and reputational injuries as well as violations of privacy, property, or constitutional rights. The following types of cases are typically considered torts:
- auto accidents
- medical malpractice
- premises liability
- fall down accidents
- construction accidents
- civil rights violations
The most common tort liability arises from negligence; for instance from the negligent operation of a motor vehicle, the negligent maintenance of personal or commercial property, or providing medical care which is not up to the appropriate standard of care in the medical community. If the injured party can prove that the person alleged to have caused the injury did not take reasonable care to avoid injuring the plaintiffs, the injured person/plaintiff may sue and receive compensation through the application of tort law.