What is Tort Law? This is the body of law overseeing the proper treatment of others. It defends against negligence and wrongful acts that can lead to injury or loss. Tort law is not based on a series of passed legislations. Instead, it is based on the precedence of previous cases. In other words, when a court rules on one tort case, it has an impact on all future related cases.
What if the defendant didn’t mean to hurt me? You can still collect damages if he or she was legally negligent. A person may not have intended to hurt you when he or she swerved into your lane or when he or she failed to clean up a spill in the grocery store aisle. Nevertheless, his or her actions led to your injury and, thus, you should be compensated.
What are punitive damages? If the person acted with intent to harm another or knew that the potential existed and made no action to correct it, he or she may be further penalized monetarily. The penalty is referred to as punitive damages and will generally be paid to the plaintiff.
What are non-economic damages? Generally people think of the damages paid in personal injury cases being compensation for medical expenses or lost wages stemming from the incident, such as might be the case with a Tampa auto accident. However, sometimes money will be paid above and beyond those totals and it is referred to as non-economic damage: monies paid for pain, suffering, or emotional distress.
Does it have to be proven “without a doubt”? Technically no, the testimony and proof do not have to conclusively prove that the defendant’s negligence caused the accident. You can win a case by showing that it is more likely than not that the injury or loss was the result of the other person’s neglect.
Can I bring a tort lawsuit against the same person who faced criminal charges for the incident? Yes. A person can be brought to trial more than once for the same crime. The criminal case does not award any damages to the injured party, so a secondary tort case must be filed to ensure compensation is paid.
Does the cost of lawyers’ fees come out-of-pocket? Most lawyers will work at no cost, unless you win the case. The fees are paid from the earned damages.