Intentional tort is a type of tort categorized by a wrong resulting from an intentional action. The term is often confused, as there are distinct elements that establish if an action comes under intentional tort, negligence or something else entirely. Negligence is not considered an intentional tort because the wrong resulted from inaction, rather than a deliberate attempt to cause harm. However, intentional tort does not mean an action was intended to harm, only that the action was intentional, and the resultant harm was a known consequence in the mind of the accused, also known as the tortfeasor.
Types of Intentional Tort
Two of the simplest-to-understand types of intentional tort are assault and battery. In both cases, there are intentional actions which result in physical harm inflicted upon an individual by a tortfeasor. Other examples of intentional tort include slander, libel, fraud and misrepresentation. The family or estate of someone involved in a wrong death suit may also pursue the commission of an intentional tort as the basis of the claim.
Again, the most important aspect in all scenarios is the intention in the mind of the tortfeasor. When it comes to intentional tort and personal injury claims, there is a very fine line that can make or break a case. For example, unlawful detention arising from someone having you backed into a corner would require proving that the tortfeasor was preventing you from leaving. An experienced personal injury lawyer will know how to evaluate your case in order to cover all potential avenues for claiming damages rather than solely relying on establishing an intentional tort.
Is It an Intentional Tort or a Crime?
Intentional torts and criminal acts are not mutually exclusive. As in the above example of assault and battery, fraud is an intentional tort that is also a criminal act. A tortfeasor can stand trial for a crime and the plaintiff may also pursue compensation for injuries and other damages resulting from an intentional tort.
It is not necessary for a criminal court to find the tortfeasor guilty of a crime in order for a plaintiff to pursue damages through civil court. For instance, if a tortfeasor stands trial for murder and is found not guilty, the family of the deceased may still have a case for wrongful death. The fact the accused was found not guilty is not an indication of the outcome of the wrongful death case. This is due, in part, to the fact the burden of proof in a civil case is much lower than what is expected in a criminal case.
California Intentional Tort Lawyer
Reach out to Maison Law if you need a reputable intentional tort lawyer. We have extensive knowledge of California law and can offer you the support and representation needed to fight for fair compensation. Call on 559-203-3333 to share the details of your case with an understanding lawyer today.