What is the difference between intentional and negligent torts?

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Question:

What is the difference between intentional and negligent torts?

Answer:

Intentional torts and negligence towards both give rise to civil actions. However, there are some important differences to understand about negligence versus intentional torts:

  • Negligence torts do not require intent. To determine if someone should be found liable for a negligence tort, a reasonable person standard is used. If the defendant's behavior is found to be less careful than behavior a reasonable person would exhibit, that defendant can be found liable for damages
  • Intentional torts require intent. The person who committed te tort must have intended to cause harm. The harm, however, did not need to be the specific type of harm that was caused to you.

The other major difference between intentional and negligence torts, aside from the standard of proof, is that in many cases, a person who is found liable for an intentional tort can be required to pay punitive damages in addition to actual damages.

To determine if you have a case for either an intentional tort or a negligence tort, consult with an experienced attorney for help.

This site does not provide legal advice and users of this site should not interpret any of the information presented here as legal advice. The information provided merely conveys general information related to commonly asked legal questions. We are not a law firm and the employees responding to questions are not acting as your legal attorney. You should ultimately consult with a lawyer for your case.

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