Accidents can happen at any time, but some accidents can be prevented. Known in legal terms as a "duty of care", the overriding idea is that care must be taken to avoid issues that lead to accidents. For example, driving without distractions makes you less likely to cause an accident. Unfortunately, there is another category of harm done. Read on to find out more about intentional torts.
Connected to a Criminal Act
When an intentional tort is perpetrated, it often involves matters that can be litigated in two separate courts of law. Criminal charges are common and may involve an entirely different set of rules. To name two, criminal cases use a different burden of proof and incarceration for those convicted is possible. Civil law, on the other hand, is all about the financial harm done to someone. It is very possible for the very same incident to be decided in both courts without violating anyone's constitutional right against double jeopardy. While the cases are separate, the outcome of a criminal proceeding may or may not influence the civil tort case and its outcome.
Civil Intentional Torts and Criminal Acts
To give you a better idea of some parallel civil and criminal situations, take a look at some examples:
- In reference to a murder charge, a wrongful death suit can be filed.
- In reference to a rape charge, a mental trauma tort case can be filed.
- In reference to a false imprisonment charge, a false imprisonment case can be filed (same name, different courts).
- In reference to a medical battery charge, a medical malpractice case can be filed.
- In reference to harassment, a defamation case can be filed.
It should be pointed out that not all criminal cases can be aligned with civil torts nor should it be assumed that all civil torts can be connected to a criminal charge. One without the other is, in fact, more common.
When Your Case Is Connected
While the above examples of cases are not as common as simple personal injury cases, there are a few situations that may be more likely to affect you or someone you know. For example, it's one thing to get sideswiped by another driver. Accidents happen. But what if the other driver intentionally sideswiped you in the midst of a road rage incident? That is an intentional tort case in the making. If you can show that the harm done to you was malicious and intentional, your case will be far easier to prove—particularly if the other driver was ticketed or charged. Rather than having to figure out what type of case you might have, put the burden of that into the hands of a personal injury lawyer.