What is a Tort Claim?October 13, 2016
If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident recently, you’ve probably been hearing a lot about tort claims. What is a tort claim? Simply put, if one person injures another by accident and the victim seeks compensation, this is a tort claim.
Tort claims can only be filed if one party’s actions cause physical, psychological, emotional or financial injury, and the person who committed the wrongful act can be held legally responsible. The event that caused the injury is legally referred to as a “tort.”
If you’re considering filing a tort claim or your lawyer is encouraging you to, it’s important to understand the basics of this type of claim. Below, you’ll learn more about what a tort claim is and how it works.
Types of Tort Claims
Tort law is a large part of the Canadian legal system as injuries caused by others have the potential to affect a huge number of people. Some examples of tort claims include:
• A claim against a landlord who did not fix an unsafe floorboard
• A claim against a driver impaired by alcohol who injured another driver
• Medical malpractice cases
• Product liability cases
• Assault and battery
Types of Tort Claims
The purpose of a tort claim is to ensure that victims receive compensation for injuries that affect their lives. And although many people think so, the purpose is not to punish the offending party.
If you experience an injury that results in physical or psychological damage, you could file a tort claim to ensure that you receive a settlement that will cover medical and other accident-related expenses.
If you are the plaintiff, in order to receive compensation for a tort you must prove that the defendant was legally responsible for your injuries, either through direct fault or negligence. Depending on the type of tort, the degrees of fault may vary.
The first type of tort is an intentional tort. This occurs when the defendant has intentionally injured the victim. An unintentional tort occurs when the defendant is negligent or fails to prevent the injury.
Penalties for intentional torts are more severe than those for unintentional torts, so the plaintiff in an intentional tort case may receive a higher settlement. Sexual assault, battery, and sexual harassment are just a few examples of intentional torts. Even if the injury itself was not intended, because the wrongful act was done intentionally, these examples all qualify as intentional torts.
A car accident is an example of an unintentional tort. Even if the driver was not observing the care necessary for the circumstances, they were not trying to intentionally injure the plaintiff.
Tort Claim Settlement
If you are the victim of an accident, you’ll need to obtain professional medical advice regarding your injuries before you can settle the claim. Make sure to ask about the full extent of your injuries, what types of treatment you’ll require, how much treatment will cost, and how your injuries will affect your current and future life. Acquiring detailed information is the only way you can accurately determine how much compensation you’ll require.
It’s also important to know that there is a two-year statute of limitations from the date of your accident for filing a claim. This should give you sufficient time to get a complete medical assessment and begin treatment. Because injuries heal at different paces, lawyers often advise clients to allow themselves sufficient time over those two years to experience the full impact their injury will have on their life.
Now that you know the basics of tort cases, you can feel more comfortable seeking legal advice. If you’ve been injured in an accident, learn more about your rights by booking a free consultation with a tort claims lawyer.
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