What is a Tort?

November 18, 2022

You may have heard that tort law has been called the law that revolves around “wrongful injuries.” There are various types of tort cases that can occur, and these include claims surrounding negligence, intentional acts of violence, conversion of property, and more. The bottom line is that torts revolve around an “act or omission that gives rise to injury or harm to another…”

Understanding a Tort Claim

Tort claims or any type of civil lawsuit that one party files against another party who allegedly called some type of damages or injury. For a tort case, the plaintiff is the individual who sustained the injury or damages, and the defendant is the party that allegedly caused the injuries or damages.

If a tort claim is successful in West Virginia, this would typically result in the defendant having to pay some type of compensation to the plaintiff.
Some of the most common types of tort claims revolve around the following:

Defendant Negligence

This is the most common basis for tort claims in West Virginia. In these situations, the plaintiff will allege that the defendant is at fault for the incident based on the four elements of negligence:

  • There was a duty of care established between the plaintiff and the defendant
  • The defendant breached their duty of care due to negligence or carelessness
  • The breach of duty is what caused the injuries or damages the plaintiff sustained
  • The plaintiff has sustained some sort of compensable loss
  • These claims typically revolve around accidents, not acts of intentional harm.

Strict Liability

Cases are often brought to the court that revolve around strict liability, which means the plaintiff will not have to prove the negligence of the defendant in order to recover compensation. There are various times when the theory of strict liability applies, and this means that a defendant can be held financially responsible for damages even if they are not necessarily negligent. Typically, strict liability claims revolve around:

  • Dog bite incidents in some states
  • Defective product claims
  • Assumption of risk cases or dangerous activities

Intentional Torts

Intentional torts are exactly what they sound like – claims that arise when the defendant intentionally commits wrongdoing towards another individual. These cases revolve around the defendant purposely, maliciously, and consciously causing harm to another.

Cases of negligence and strict liability revolve around accidents or the carelessness of the defendant. Intentional tort cases involve showing that the defendant was guilty of the conduct that caused harm to the plaintiff and that they continued their actions despite the foreseeable risk involved in the action. Intentional towards can revolve around civil and criminal liability of the defendant.

Will You Need an Attorney?

If you are involved in any type of tort claim, it is a good idea to speak to an attorney immediately. The process of filing a lawsuit and recovering compensation from another party is complex and filled with legal language, specific processes and deadlines, and the possible need to appear in front of the court. When you have a Martinsburg personal injury lawyer by your side, you will have an advocate who can use their resources to defend your rights and help you recover the compensation you are entitled to.


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