When we think of personal injury cases, we often think of car accidents. While car accidents can seem straight-forward—one car hits another—the law upon which recovery for personal injuries sustained in a car crash is far more complex. Personal injury cases arise out of civil tort law.
So, what, exactly is a “tort”? Under Georgia law, a “tort” is the unlawful violation of a public duty that causes harm, or, “the violation of a private legal right, other than a breach of contract.”
A tort is a civil law concept. It refers to a wrongful action (or inaction where there is a duty to act) that causes another injury for which the injured person can seek relief in the form of money damages or an injunction. A tort is a private wrong that does not arise out of a contract agreement. In other words, a civil tort exists when one person injures another person, not by failing to abide by a written or verbal agreement between the two, but in some other physical or emotional way which causes the victim to also incur financial expense.
Although some torts (see below) can also be subject to the criminal law, in civil law, the emphasis is not on punishment of the wrongdoer, but on compensation for the injured party.
The 2 Types of Torts
There are basically 2 types of torts in civil law:
- Intentional torts, and
Intentional torts are just what you would expect. They are the result of a person’s deliberate wrongdoing. The classic example of an intentional tort is a civil assault (apprehension of an unwanted touching) and battery (unwanted touching)—in other words, a punch on the nose.
Torts arising out of negligence, on the other hand, fall into the “accident” category of torts. These are the classic car accident or slip and fall personal injury cases.
In personal injury law cases, a defendant’s liability is based on duty and foreseeability. In other words, the question is whether the defendant had a duty to act, and if so, whether the defendant’s action (or inaction/failure to act) caused the plaintiff’s harm.
Most personal injury actions are the result not of a person’s intentional wrongdoing, but his or her failure to act prudently. Negligence can be understood generally as carelessness or the breach of a duty of care. Common examples of torts caused by negligence include texting and driving and causing an accident, or a grocery store that fails to clean up a spill and a customer slips and falls, injuring himself.
Whether an injury is caused deliberately or accidentally, those who are injured by the torts of another have a right to seek compensation. It is important to seek the advice of experienced personal injury counsel right away.
Accident Attorneys in Georgia.
The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, P.C., are here to help you. We serve clients in Atlanta, and in several counties throughout Georgia, including: Clayton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County, Douglas County, Fulton County, and Paulding County, among others. To find out how we can help you, call us at: 770-888-7707. Or contact us here.