Pain and suffering are compounded even more when caused by someone else’s negligent or wrongful act. Tort law seeks to help victims recover damages from the person/s who caused the injury. ‘Tort’ originated from the word ‘tortum,’ which means ‘wrong’ in Latin.
Simply put, a tort is a wrongful act that results in injury to another person. Courts can award compensation to the injured party when it has been proven that the injury was caused by another person’s negligence.
A large majority of personal injury cases are brought about by tort. Note that negligence refers to acts of omission and commission that result in injuries to another person. These resulting injuries establish the basis for a tort claim, which AvaGio Law will discuss further in this article.
What Is a Tort Claim?
An integral part of Canadian civil law, tort claims intend to compensate someone who has suffered an injury. It is a civil law (not a criminal law) and thus does not seek punishment for the person responsible for the damage. Tort claims are usually filed for:
- Car Accidents
- Defective Products (products that cause injury to the consumer)
- Premises liability, including dog bites, slip, trip, and fall
- Medical or professional malpractice
Therefore, a tort claim is a lawsuit that is filed to seek compensation for one’s injuries. Compensation claims from tort are typically wider than insurance claims and are often considered to be the pursuit of just indemnification. Tort compensation is given in addition to accident benefits and insurance claims.
Types of Tort Claims
There are two types of tort claims.
Intentional Tort Claims
There are intentional tort claims, wherein harm is done to someone on purpose. The rationale is that even if the intent is not to hurt the other person as much as they did, they were still negligent in their actions. Depending on the severity, some tort claims are charged criminally when proven to have caused significant harm to the victim.
Some examples of intentional tort claims are:
- Sexual Harassment or Assault
Unintentional Tort Claims
On the other hand, unintentional tort claims happen purely due to negligence. When someone does not exercise or uphold the duty of care they owe to the public or another person, causing injury, then this means that they have been negligent. Many personal injury cases fall under the category of unintentional tort.
Some examples of unintentional tort claims are:
- Product Liability Claims
- Premises Liability
- Slip and Falls
- Car Accidents
- Accidents at Work
Elements of Tort
The four basic elements of tort are duty of care, breach of duty of care, causation, and injury. To illustrate these four elements clearly, let’s use the example of a tort claim resulting from a slip and fall on the grounds of a retail establishment:
- Duty of care: The business owner is responsible for keeping their grounds clear of slippery snow and ice.
- Breach of duty of care: The business owner did not salt the grounds, despite knowing that a lot of people would be walking on the icy surface
- Causation: A person slips and falls on the grounds of the establishment because the snow was uncleared and the ice was unsalted
- Injury: The same person fractures his hip falling on the ground.
What Does a Tort Claim Include?
Technically, a tort claim refers to the monetary award given to indemnify the victim of an accident from the harm they have suffered. Whereas insurance claims are limited in scope and often do not compensate for non-pecuniary losses (loss of income, pain and suffering, disruption to family life), tort claims compensate for the actual loss suffered post-accident.
Some examples of compensation that can be claimed in a tort claim are:
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of present and future income
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Future expenses for physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Medical care expenses
- Caregiving expenses
- Other related expenses
Tort claims allow a personal injury victim to secure the compensation that will help them safeguard their future in the aftermath of the accident. Being involved in an accident due to another party’s negligence causes a huge disruption in a person’s life and requires that they be properly and fully compensated.
To calculate the appropriate compensation for your tort claim, speak to your Toronto personal injury lawyer at AvaGio Law.
To understand tort law better, here are some examples from common personal injury claims:
- Cycling accident – A vehicle passenger suddenly opens their car door and causes a bicycle rider to crash (also called ‘dooring’)
- Dog bite – A negligent owner lets their dog wander off-leash in a crowded area, and it bites someone
- Slip and fall accident – A loose step on the stairs causes a person to fall while on public premises
- Brain injury – Debris from a nearby building renovation falls on a person’s head while they’re walking in a public area
- Car accident – A driver runs the red light and hits a pedestrian
What’s the Difference Between Tort and Crime?
As mentioned, the main difference between tort and crime is that the former is a civil law action, while the latter is a criminal law action. A tort claim seeks to indemnify or repay the victim of an injury due to another party’s negligence. Thus, it does not cover punishing the person at fault in the form of jail time, bail, or community service.
Why Contact Your Toronto Personal Injury Lawyer Today
AvaGio Law has a ‘No fees until we win’ policy, designed to help you or your loved one access fair, swift compensation. Consultations are free – you do not have to pay unless we can secure appropriate compensation for you.
So if you or a family member has suffered an injury recently on account of the negligence of a third party, do not hesitate to speak to a personal injury lawyer from AvaGio Law today. We will be happy to assist you with whatever you need to get your claim moving.
Call us at (416) 551 5492 or visit our website to fill out a contact form.