Jim Adler | The Tough, Smart Lawyer
By Jim Adler March 21, 2016

In the legal world, there are many terms that have been created to represent a more complicated concept. For example, the word “tort” is an older legal term that still exists, and it refers to a personal injury that can result in a civil claim. While some personal injury cases can result in criminal charges, such as assault, other cases are only a matter of a civil disagreement that does not result in criminal charges. For the non-criminal cases, the negligent acts are unintentional, but they still result in an injury.

There are two types of torts: intentional and unintentional. The intentional torts often fall into the criminal category and include acts such as assault and homicide. The unintentional torts fall into the category of non-criminal acts and include such incidents as car accidents, slip and fall accidents, and medical malpractice cases. In both cases, the injured party must prove that their injuries were the result of the intentional or unintentional negligence of the defendant. It sounds easy to prove negligence, but it can sometimes be more difficult than it sounds.

In a case involving tort law, there are usually three types of financial damages the injured party claims: the loss of wages both current and future (depending on the severity of the incident), pain and suffering, and medical expenses. With tort law, negligence is determined by the court, and the decision can be appealed. Under tort law in Texas, medical expenses are awarded based on a reasonable expectation. If there are long-term medical issues, then the tort law in Texas allows for a judge or jury to award more than just the cost of the immediate medical expenses.

In tort law, negligence is taken very seriously. In almost every state, there is no hard-and-fast guide to deciding negligence in a tort law case. The decisions of juries and judges are based on previous cases with similar foundations, and the tort laws wind up being a patchwork of cases that have happened in the past. It is important that the attorney you choose to argue your tort law case understands all of the precedents set for your case and can present examples to the court that will help you to win your case.

The prime purpose of tort law is to punish people who have caused harm to others but have not broken any laws. At the same time, tort law in Texas and every other state allows civil tort cases to be argued along with criminal cases for the same defendant. If the defendant was found innocent by a criminal court, then the defendant could still be found guilty under tort law and face stiff financial penalties. In this way, tort law allows people who have been wronged by others to punish those who have committed hurtful acts, even if the criminal justice system will not hand down a punishment.

Theories of the Common Law of Torts

This comprehensive discussion of tort law goes into great detail about what tort law is, how it is applied, and where it can and cannot be used.

Tort Law and Lawyers

With this page, we get a definition of what tort law is and how lawyers approach the task of proving that a defendant should be held financially liable for their actions.


Read a comprehensive definition of tort law, and then use the associated links as additional resources.

Practice Areas

When you get involved in a tort law case, it helps to have an experienced attorney on your side.

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