Intentional Torts are wrongful acts done on purpose. The person does not need to actually mean harm, but the other person ends up hurt anyways, such as in a prank. Or, the person can definitely mean harm, such as domestic violence cases. Proving the act has been done on purpose is the trickiest part of these claims.
A “tort” is a wrongful act that causes harm to someone else. This definition covers a wide range of actions and the legal field of torts is split up into many different subcategories.
There is a unique element to intentional torts that separates it from the other torts. To commit this particular type of tort you must do something intentionally and this does need to be proven in order to obtain the proper compensation you deserve in your case. This is in a sharp contract to regular torts which do not focus on the intent at all in order to receive the proper compensation for their clients.
The type of tort is classified by the cause of the wrongful act. This could be because someone is mentally unstable, or impaired, or someone was intentionally negligent. The defining factor for an intentional tort is when the action performed was done intentionally. So if you are unsure the only factor separating out these cases is classifying the act to be caused by negligence or intentionally. The difference here can be very subtle, but if the defendant can prove that they did not mean to cause harm, then they could avoid liability for the plaintiff’s losses in the case if they are being charged with an intentional tort. In other tort cases the intent is irrelevant and therefore lack of intent is not a valid defense.
When you are determining whether or not the tort is intentional the person’s mindset is usually a larger factor in making this decision. A good example of this would be in a simple car accident case. If both parties did not mean to cause harm to one another then this would not be classified as an intentional tort, but instead it would just be a case of simple negligence. But on the contrary if the person that hit you had the intention of striking your car and in result caused you boldly harm, then this person has committed an intentional tort of battery. So the exact same accident with the exact same injuries has now become an intentional tort based on the mindset of the person causing the accident.
When reviewing the cases the difference can be subtle but make all of the difference when deciding the legal liability in the case. If someone is charged with an intentional tort and they can prove that they did not commit the act intentionally then they can avoid liability for the plaintiff’s losses. If you or someone you know have been involved in an intentional tort, contact the Cochran firm today for a free consultation and we can help get you the compensation you deserve.