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What is Tort Law?

In North Carolina, tort law allows individuals and companies to pursue private claims in court against other individuals, companies, or even government agencies.

Tort law is distinct and separate from criminal law, which involves a prosecutor pursuing a case on behalf of the state. Torts allow private individuals and businesses to seek redress for wrongs. When someone pursues a tort claim, the claim is pursued in civil court and the remedies are usually, but not always, monetary.

There are three primary types of torts: intentional torts, negligence torts, and strict liability torts.

Intentional torts occur when someone purposefully does something harmful and the victim hurt by this wrongful act pursues a claim for compensation. An example includes the tort case brought by the families of the victims who were allegedly murdered by O.J. Simpson. Although Simpson had prevailed in his criminal case, he lost the intentional tort case against him because there is a lower burden of proof in a tort claim than in a criminal case. He was ordered to pay millions in compensation to families of the victims of the intentional tort.

Negligence torts occur when someone fails to fulfill a legal obligation and harm results from the failure. Examples include when a driver is careless and causes an accident or when medical malpractice occurs. A civil lawsuit, or tort lawsuit, could be brought against a careless driver or doctor who provides substandard care.

Finally, there are strict liability torts. Product liability cases usually arise under strict liability rules. There is no focus on negligence or intentional wrongdoing when strict liability rules apply. The only question is whether a particular outcome occurred. For example, a product manufacturer is liable for injuries resulting from the normal use of a product which turns out to be defective, regardless of whether the manufacturer was negligent or not.

Victims who wish to pursue a tort lawsuit should have a personal injury lawyer representing them. Contact a Charlotte, NC injury lawyer for help today.

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