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Is There a Difference Between Negligence and Intentional Tort?

October 28, 2020

negligence intentional tort

Personal Injury cases are very common in the United States, and most people are familiar with negligence and liability. In personal injury cases, liability deals with whether a person or entity is directly or indirectly responsible for another person’s injury. If a person is determined to be responsible, they can be held liable for damages. When discussing personal injury cases, it is important to be familiar with intentional tort and negligence.

What is Tort Law?

Tort law is a very broad classification that deals with liability as it relates to actions that cause harm. Torts are defined as wrongful acts that cause harm to another person. This applies to a variety of legal situations, including negligence, intentional acts, and strict liability.

It is important to remember that intent is not a necessary component in tort law, and the central components are actions and harm. Intent, however, is a factor in determining the type of tort. Whether or not someone intended to cause harm is irrelevant to their liability, however, it does come into play when differentiating between intentional tort and negligence.

What is Negligence?

In legal terms, negligence refers to an act that puts another person in danger without the actual intent to cause harm. A person may be found to be negligent when they do not take reasonable actions to prevent harm to those around them. This does not mean that individuals are expected to go out of their way to protect and care for others.

Proving negligence requires that a case meets certain components. To prove negligence in court, four basic essential requirements must be met:

  • Duty of Care: This means that the defendant had a responsibility to provide care but breached this duty.
  • Breach: A breach is when a person failed to comply with their duty of care, resulting in an injury.
  • Losses or Damages: The plaintiff must have demonstrable losses or damages.
  • Causation: The defendant must be the cause of the plaintiff’s injury or losses.

What Does Intentional Tort Mean?

The essential difference between negligence and an intentional tort is the action that led to the losses. An intentional tort deal with willful acts that result in injury or damages. These acts do not have to be carried out with the intent to cause the specified damage. Knowingly taking action to cause damage falls under intentional tort. Common examples of intentional actions include assault, theft, and trespassing.

Both negligence and intentional tort cases are heard in civil courts and seek to recover damages incurred by the plaintiffs. Damages often include recovery for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Intentional tort cases tend to be broader in terms of available damages and can include punitive damages.

If one is injured in an accident, they should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. Personal injury cases can be complicated, and a knowledgeable lawyer will be able to help their client obtain compensation.

Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. Protect Clients Injured by Negligent Parties

Accidents happen every day, and it can be hard to navigate all the legal information by yourself. After an accident, you should contact one of our Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. right away. Contact us online or call us at 215-569-9100 for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.