Apart from legislation granting a right to sue for a specific harm, personal injury law generally consists of tort law and the civil procedure for enforcing it. This article discusses the words used to describe those who commit torts and how tort law is a particular collection of accepted legal theories for suing people for money.
Those Who Commit Torts
A person who does wrong may be known as a perpetrator, a violator, or a wrongdoer. A perpetrator, violator, or wrongdoer who commits a tort is known as a tortfeasor. Two or more tortfeasors may commit a single tort. When two or more tortfeasors commit a single tort, they are known as joint tortfeasors.
Certain conduct will result in the commission of a tort. Conduct that will result in the commission of a tort is known as tortious. Torts are some of the law's standards for civil conduct. Torts are certain kinds of conduct that a reasonable person will avoid. Tortious conduct is conduct that is deemed to be unreasonable.
Torts are sometimes described as being an invasion or trespass upon the rights of another.
Legal Theories for Suing
Tort law is a major type of civil law along with family law, property law, and contract law. Family law gives a status right. Property law gives an ownership right. Contract law gives an agreement right. Tort law is different from the other major kinds of civil law. Unlike the other major kinds of civil law, the object of tort law is not something as immediately pleasurable as a status, ownership, or agreement right. The victim of a tort only has a right to sue the tortfeasor before the statute of limitation expires.
Torts can be viewed as certain general standards of civil conduct. As a practical matter, however, torts are nothing more than a collection of theories for suing people for money (and perhaps other remedies, if the law so permits).
In each of the other major types of law, there is only one underlying theory for a lawsuit for money. The underlying theory in family law is support. The underlying theory in property law is compensation for infringement. The underlying theory in contract law is compensation for breach of agreement. There are dozens of theories in tort law.
Although there are dozens of theories in tort law, there is a theme: victims of tort are entitled to compensation for breach of the particular general civil duties that are owed them beyond family law, property law, and contract law.
There are many kinds of wrongful conduct that are deemed to be a tort. Your lawyer can advise you as to whether the circumstances of your case gives you the right to sue under tort law.
Copyright 2014 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.