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What Is Tort Law?

Like a lot of legal terms, the word “tort” comes from Latin. The original word was “tortum,” which means “wrong” or “injustice.” It can also mean “injury,” which is why today this area of law is often called “personal injury law” instead. However, while the name may be new, the basis of tort law goes back centuries.

Civil Law And Personal Injuries


The biggest division in the American legal system is between criminal law and civil law. When you break a criminal law, the government prosecutes you and decides if you deserve prison time or a fine. If you disagree with this, you can take your case to trial and have a jury decide your fate. When you break a civil law, it’s usually up to the person or business you wrong to demand that you stop or you compensate them for what you did. Civil law covers several areas like immigration law, trademark law, contract law, and patent law.

Tort or personal injury law is one of those areas. The idea is that if someone is responsible for injuring you, damaging your property, or killing a close relative, then you have a right to demand compensation. It doesn’t matter if the responsible party intended to hurt someone or not: if they were responsible and neglected something important like safety warnings or basic maintenance, then they need to compensate the victims.

Criminal Law And Personal Injuries


When someone commits a crime, the victims of that crime may suffer physical injuries, lost property, and emotional damages. A criminal case will provide justice for the state or federal government, but it won’t compensate the victims for what happened. That’s why many times both criminal and personal injury cases will run in parallel and cover the same incidents. The criminal case usually goes first, and if it finds the defendant guilty then the personal injury case will usually get the same result.

Neglect And Reckless Behavior


When personal injury cases aren’t tied to criminal cases, they usually focus on situations like neglect and reckless actions. Neglect can mean things like leaving raw meat next to cooked meat in your restaurant kitchen and getting your customers sick with salmonella, and reckless behavior can mean speeding down the highway and ignoring red lights. Even if someone doesn’t intend to hurt anyone and doesn’t break any criminal laws, they can still be responsible for someone’s injury and need to pay for it.

Personal Injury Law And Insurance


Companies often get insurance policies that will pay out if someone sues them for a personal injury, and drivers need to take out liability insurance policies if they want to own and operate a road vehicle. Because of this, personal injury lawsuits are filed against insurance companies rather than the person or company that was directly responsible. Insurance companies are often unwilling to pay the full settlement amount since that comes out of their profits, which is why it helps for injured parties to speak to personal injury lawyers.

Tort law is an important part of the American justice system, and it makes sure that when one person or group hurts somebody then they have to pay them back. If you suffer a personal injury, you should consider hiring a legal representative who can defend your interests and get you the best compensation possible. In southwest Florida, the lawyers to call are at the All Injuries Law Firm. Contact us online or call us up to set up your free initial case review.