What if you are intentionally harmed by another?

The action of one party that causes harm to another party is called a "tort" in legal language. These actions can be either negligent or intentional. If you suffer physical injury, property damage or harm to your reputation or something else of value, what is the difference between negligent and intentional torts?

One of the most common negligent tort situations occurs with car accidents. The driver who caused the accident had a responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner; did not do so; and, caused harm to a person or their property. The accident under these circumstances was negligent, because the driver did not cause it 'on purpose.' Clearly, the driver responsible for the accident cannot defend themselves by stating, "I didn't mean to cause the car wreck," because their mindset is not relevant.

However, the same car wreck could be classified as the intentional tort of battery if the driver's mindset was to purposefully commit the action. If the offender caused the accident on purpose and you suffered injury and/or property loss, they may be subject to a civil suit for the intentional tort and a criminal suit for the crime of battery. The former action would likely seek monetary remedies and the latter may result in incarceration. The state of mind related to intentional torts can be a difficult aspect to prove, and legal advice is recommended.

If you've been intentionally harmed by others, contact our office to discuss the specifics of your situation.

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