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How Does Negligence Differ From An Intentional Tort?

To understand the difference between negligence and intentional tort, it may be wise to start with the definition of the words. What exactly do we mean by negligence? A concise definition states that negligence is the failure to take reasonable care to avoid causing injury or loss to another person. This means the care to avoid injuries from happening rests within our power. And intentional tort? The short definition is that intentional torts carry an element of intent. This means that to commit an intentional tort, you must have done something on purpose.

What Are Some Examples Of Intentional Torts?

To determine whether something was done intentionally, we would have to crawl inside that person’s brain. Even the most obvious cases of something being done on purpose may be difficult to prove since proving the intent existed may be impossible to achieve. However, there are several types of intentional torts. Among them:

  • Fraud – Acting intentionally to deceive or benefit from causing damage to another party
  • Slander – Intentionally making false statements or accusations that cause damage to the reputation of another person
  • Assault – Acting intentionally to place another person in apprehension of harm
  • Battery – Harmful or offensive contact with the body of another person
  • False imprisonment – Intentionally restricting the freedom of someone
  • Wrongful death – When the negligent or intentional actions of someone cause injuries that provoke a death

Are All Intentional Torts Crimes?

Although many types of intentional torts are also crimes, the way they are treated by the law is different. While a tort may result in a civil suit between private citizens, a criminal proceeding is brought on by the government.

Are There Negligent Torts?

As stated above, to prove negligence, a person must have failed to act in a responsible way towards someone to whom they owe a duty. This means that injuries occur not due to the intentionally careless action of any of the parties. Some examples are:

  • Car accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Most medical malpractice cases

Can You Sue For Negligence?

Although there may be extenuating circumstances that made the negligence happen, the core concept of negligence states that everybody should act with reasonable care, always taking into account the potential harm that their actions may bring upon other people or property.

That is why if you suffer an injury or loss due to someone’s negligent actions, you may sue for damages to compensate for the harm. These injuries or losses may include:

  • Physical injury
  • Harm to property
  • Psychiatric illness
  • Economic loss

What Elements Must Be Established In A Suit For Negligence?

If you have suffered a loss or injury and want to sue for negligence, these elements must be proven for the suit to proceed:

  • Duty – That the person who caused you harm had a duty to you to exercise reasonable care
  • Breach – That the duty has been breached through an act or culpable omission
  • Damages – Due to the above, the plaintiff has suffered an injury
  • Causation – The injury or loss happened as a consequence of those actions

If you have suffered an injury or loss due to negligence or an intentional act, contact your Bakersfield personal injury attorney today and get a free and confidential consultation to review your case. With no upfront costs, your lawyer would only get paid if you win and they will fight to get you the maximum compensation.