What Is a Tort Claim?
If you find yourself injured or your property is damaged due to someone else’s actions, you might wonder if you can seek legal redress. A tort claim could be your answer. This type of civil lawsuit allows you to state that another party’s wrongful actions have caused you harm and that you should be compensated for it.
What Does the Term “Tort” Mean in Law?
The term “tort” is legal jargon for a wrongful act. When someone commits a tort against you, you may then have the right to pursue legal action against them. If they are found liable in a court of law, they may be required to pay money damages to compensate for their losses.
Is Filing a Tort Claim the Same as Filing a Civil Lawsuit?
A tort claim is one type of civil lawsuit. It’s essential to clarify that this is different from a criminal case. In a tort claim, the person at fault may be required to pay you monetary compensation, but they won’t face criminal charges like jail time. You initiate this legal action yourself in civil court, meaning there’s no need for police or prosecutors to get involved.
Types of Torts: What Are Some Common Examples?
Tort law encompasses various forms of wrongful acts:
- Negligent Torts: These occur when someone’s lack of due care leads to your harm. Real-world examples include car accidents and slip-and-fall incidents.
- Intentional Torts: These involve someone deliberately causing you harm. Examples include cases of assault, fraud, and trespassing.
- Strict Liability Torts: In these cases, a person can be found responsible for your harm even without a finding of negligence on their part. Examples include harm from defective products or engaging in inherently dangerous activities.
Any of these tort claims can lead to an award of money damages.
Illustrative Examples of Tort Cases
Here are some illustrative real-world examples of situations where you could file a tort claim:
- Car Accidents: For instance, if another driver runs a red light and crashes into your car, you can file a tort claim seeking compensation for your injuries and vehicle damage.
- Slip and Fall Cases: If you slip and fall in a retail store due to a wet floor that was not marked or cleaned up, you have the grounds for a tort claim.
- Product Liability: If you’re injured by a defective or unsafe product, you can bring a tort claim against the manufacturer.
- Medical Malpractice: If you suffer harm due to a medical error, such as a surgical mistake, a tort claim can help you seek redress.
These real-world examples of tort claims are common instances where damages may be available for victims.
What Types of Damages Can You Recover in a Tort Claim?
In a successful tort claim, you can potentially recover money for various types of damages. The two primary categories are called economic and non-economic damages. Specific examples include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages or earnings
- Costs to repair or replace damaged property
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
The amount you might recover will vary depending on your specific circumstances. Consulting an experienced personal injury attorney can help you gauge what you may be entitled to.
Do You Need an Attorney To File a Tort Claim?
Though hiring a lawyer to file a tort claim is not required, it’s highly advisable. Tort law can be intricate, and an experienced attorney can guide you through the complexities. They can handle all the necessary paperwork, negotiate settlements, and, if necessary, represent you in court to get you the full compensation you rightfully deserve.
Understanding the Statute of Limitations for Tort Claims
Each state sets a specific time frame, known as the statute of limitations, within which you must file a tort claim. In Louisiana, you generally have just one year to bring a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. There are exceptions for some cases, however.
Tort Claims Versus Insurance Claims: What’s the Difference?
After an unfortunate incident causing harm, you may find yourself choosing between filing a tort claim and an insurance claim. The two aren’t mutually exclusive and can often work in tandem to get you the maximum compensation:
- Insurance Claims often cover your immediate financial needs but may not cover long-term losses.
- Tort Claims can compensate for losses and damages not typically covered by standard insurance policies.
Consulting an attorney can clarify how to strategically approach both types of claims for your benefit.
Consult With an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
A tort claim could be your pathway to financial recovery if you’ve suffered harm or property damage due to another party’s negligence or intentional actions. Given the complexities of tort law, partnering with an experienced personal injury attorney is highly recommended.
They can evaluate your case, explain your legal options, ensure timely filing, and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Setting up a free initial consultation is the first step.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Baton Rouge, LA
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and need legal help, contact our Baton Rouge personal injury lawyers at Palmintier Law Group to schedule a free consultation today.