Intentional Torts vs. Criminal Cases

Intentional tort” is a legal term that describes when a person injures another person through an intended action. Although the harm may not necessarily be intentional, these cases differ from other personal injury cases in which negligence is the cause.

Cases of intentional tort may focus on actions that are criminal actions. In some cases, the subject of an intentional tort case may also be tried in a criminal court. However, both cases will involve different processes and result in different outcomes.

What is an Intentional Tort?

Intentional tort cases focus on situations in which a purposeful act has caused harm to another person. This may include incidents that are frequently the subject of personal injury cases, such as car accidents, as well as incidents that are criminal actions, such as assault and battery. If a crime like assault is the focus of an intentional tort case, the same incident may be the focus of a criminal case as well.

How Does an Intentional Tort Case Differ from Criminal Proceedings?

Although an intentional tort case and criminal case may focus on the same incident, these are two different types of legal proceedings. Intentional torts are civil cases, in which the goal is to recover compensation for the plaintiff. Conversely, the aim of criminal cases is to uphold the law and punish the perpetrator for their actions. Although both types of cases aim to hold the at-fault party accountable in some way, intentional torts do not have the same direct consequences that criminal cases do. The defendant in an intentional tort case may be required to pay punitive damages, but this is not as common as the payment of compensation for the plaintiff’s medical bills, lost wages, and non-economic damages. A person who is charged with a crime may face financial penalties, as well as jail time, community service, and other criminal consequences.

The outcome of an intentional tort case or criminal case may not affect the other, even if they are focused on the same incident.

The lawyers of Zayas Law Firm can represent you if you or a loved one was injured and would like to file an intentional tort claim. Contact us today to discuss the details of your case.

If you are interested in speaking with our legal team, complete our contact form or call (860) 278-0820 to schedule a free consultation with our attorneys.
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