Tort law deals with issues of personal injury, and the legal remedies or monetary compensation involved in the process of placating the aggrieved party. The word ‘tort’ comes from the Latin term meaning twist or harm, indicating its association with wrongdoing, although tort action does not involve government prosecution the same way criminal law does. Instead, the injured party or plaintiff takes civil action against the negligent party or tortfeasor/defendant, and seeks compensation (or an injunction to prevent recurrence) for the harm their actions caused.
Some torts may be classified as crimes, such as assault, yet for the most part personal injury cases occur as a result of negligence. In order to establish liability on part of the tortfeasor, the plaintiff under question must demonstrate that a reasonable person of sound mind in the defendant’s position would have pursued a different course of action under the same circumstances. Regardless of the tort category or action, three elements must be present within a case of tort law. The tortfeasor must be proven to have had a responsibility or duty to act or behave in a certain way; the plaintiff must prove that the behaviour of the tortfeasor did not coincide with the duty reasonably owed to the plaintiff; and the plaintiff must have suffered injury or loss as a result. These legal injuries are not restricted to physical violations and can include emotional, economic, or reputational wounding, as well as violation of the plaintiff’s privacy, property, humanitarian, or constitutional rights.
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