Tort Law vs. Civil Law: How to Judge the Difference

In the grand scheme of the law, two predominant case areas exist: criminal and civil.

Criminal law deals with instances in which an individual commits a crime against societal rules. For example, robbing a bank is considered criminal activity. Civil law, on the other hand, takes over when a dispute exists between private individuals. Case in point, one major area of civil law involves divorce and other family law proceedings.

In some cases, an individual may choose to sue another for injuries or damages. This is called tort law, and it falls under the umbrella of civil law.

Civil Law Overview

Although tort law is considered part of “civil law,” many other areas of civil law exist as well. These include divorce and family law, contract disputes, wills and property disputes. Any dispute between private individuals, as stated above, typically fall under civil law jurisdiction.

What is Tort Law?

Tort law is the largest area of civil law. The purpose of tort law is to determine whether or not an individual should be held legally accountable for the injury of another person. Tort law is also used to determine whether or not an individual should be compensated for his or her injuries and how much money is owed.

For example, if someone slips and falls in a workplace accident, tort law is responsible for determining if the employer is liable for the individual’s injuries and the amount of workers’ compensation due.

3 Types of Tort

There are three prominent areas of tort law:

  • Intentional tort. An intentional tort is when an individual purposefully engages in conduct that causes an injury or damages. For example, defamation and fraud each fall under intentional tort.
  • Negligence. Negligence takes place when one person fails to do their duty to prevent injury or accident, leading to damages. Negligence includes slip and falls and car accidents. It’s the most common type of tort.
  • Strict liability. Sometimes absolute liability applies to a tort case. This occurs when one party is solely responsible for damages or injury. These include cases of defective products and animal attacks.

At the Babcock Law Firm, we handle various types of tort cases on a daily basis, and we’re prepared to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more.

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Categories: Personal Injury
Tags: tort
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