Under tort law, victims can pursue compensation if someone else behaves in a manner that infringes upon their safety or rights. However, a tort can either be classified as negligent or intentional, changing the types of damages that you can seek. While most personal injury cases fall into the category of negligence, you must understand both kinds of torts to ensure you recover all the damages you’re entitled to.
Someone who commits a negligent tort didn’t intend to cause harm, but failed to exercise a reasonable level of care for the circumstances involved. For instance, this can refer to a driver who causes an accident while distracted, or a property owner who doesn’t clear their premises of snow and ice, resulting in a slip and fall.
To win a negligence personal injury case, it must first be established that the defendant had a duty of care to prevent injury to others. Next, evidence has to show that duty was breached. Finally, the defendant’s negligence must directly cause the victim’s injuries, leading to quantifiable damages.
An intentional tort is a willfully committed action that results in another party’s loss. This means the defendant meant to inflict harm and knew there would be consequences. Examples of this conduct include trespassing, defamation, false imprisonment, theft, fraud, assault, and battery. Intentional personal injury cases require the same burden of proof as negligence claims, but you must also be able to prove that the defendant acted deliberately.
Difference in Damages
Compensation can be sought in both negligent and intentional tort cases, with proceedings taking place in civil court. Victims are typically rewarded with compensatory damages, which cover measurable expenses such as medical bills, lost wages, and property repairs or replacement, as well as non-compensatory damages for subjective losses, including pain and suffering and diminished quality of life. Punitive damages are typically reserved for intentional personal injury cases as a way to punish the defendant for malicious conduct.
If you were injured due to another party’s negligent or intentional actions, turn to Bellotti Law Group, P.C. to explore your legal options. They handle all types of personal injury cases and have successfully represented countless residents across the Boston Metro area. Backed by more than 30 years of experience, they know how to help clients obtain maximum compensation. Call (617) 778-1000 to schedule a free consultation, or visit them online to learn more about their proven track record.