Tort Law


DEFINITION of 'Tort Law'

The area of law that covers the majority of all civil lawsuits. Essentially, every claim that arises in civil court with the exception of contractual disputes falls under tort law. The concept of tort law is to redress a wrong done to a person, usually by awarding them monetary damages as compensation.


Tort law can be split into three categories: negligent torts, intentional torts and strict liability. Negligent torts encompass harm done to people generally through the failure of another to exercise a certain level of care (usually defined as a reasonable standard of care). Accidents are a good example of negligent torts. Intentional torts, on the other hand, refer to harms done to people intentionally by the willful misconduct of another, such as assault, fraud and theft. Strict liability torts, unlike negligence and intentional torts, are not concerned with the culpability of the person doing the harm. Instead, strict liability focuses on the act itself: if someone commits a certain act (say, producing a defective product) then that person is responsible for the damages from that act regardless of the level of care exercised or their intentions.

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