A tort in common law is defined as a civil wrong that involves a breach of civil duty owed to someone else. This is in exception to contractual duty. A tort is similar to crime but crimes involve breach of duties toward the society in general. The aggrieved party who has been injured due to a tort may bring a lawsuit.
One who commits a tort is called tortfeasor. A person who suffers a tortuous act is entitled to receive damages, usually monetary compensation, from the person or people responsible or liable for those injuries. Tort law defines what a legal injury is and therefore, a person may be held for an injury that was caused. Legal injuries are not limited to physical injuries. They may also include emotional, economic, or reputational injuries as well as violations of privacy, liability for defective consumer products, copyright infringement and environmental pollution among many others.
In the law world, the most prominent tort liability is negligence. If the injured party can prove that the person believed to have caused the injury acted negligently, that is without taking a reasonable care to avoid injuring others- tort law will allow compensation.
Torts are categorized into negligence torts, intentional torts and standard torts.
· Negligence torts: The standard action in tort is negligence. The tort of negligence provides a cause of action leading to damages, to belief, in each case designed to protect legal rights, including those of personal safety, property and in some cases, intangible economic interests.
· Intentional torts: include those torts arising from the occupation or use of land. The torts of nuisance, trespass, etc come under this category. Intentional torts also include false imprisonment, the tort of illegally arresting or detaining someone and defamation, broadcasting false information damaging the plaintiff’s reputation.
· Statutory torts: Statutory torts are like any other, expect for the fact that these have been enacted by the legislature and not by courts. Examples include consumer protection laws, labor laws governing safety and health of workers, etc.
The burden to prove a tort vests with the plaintiff. It is his duty to prove the defendant’s negligent tort or intentional tort. The plaintiff owns a duty of care. A duty of care is a relationship which exists between a plaintiff and the defendant. There must be a breach of that duty and the plaintiff suffered damages as a result of that breach.
The defendant has to take proper care not to damage or cause injury to the property, emotion, reputation and to the person himself. And lastly, the damage must be significant and not remote.
Nuisance: Legally, the term nuisance is used in three ways, to describe an activity or condition that is harmful or annoying to others. To describe the harm caused by the before mentioned activity or condition and to describe a legal liability that arises from the combination of the two.
Defamation: Defamation is tarnishing the reputation of someone. They are of two types. One is slander and the other is libel. Slander is spoken defamation and libel is printed or broadcast defamation.
Liabilities, defenses and remedies:
· Vicarious liability: One person is liable for the wrongful act of another on the basis of the legal relationship between them.
· Strict liability: when a party is liable for a tort even where there is no intention to commit wrong and no negligence. These torts are no longer available.
· Negligent liability: The defendant’s conduct does not confirm with the standard of conduct that the law says reasonable.
This article is in continuation with our previous article on Law
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