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The vast majority of personal injury cases are the result of accidents - car accidents, slip and fall accidents, or accidents suffered while on the job. However, some injuries are the result of intentional actions and conduct. Even if there are criminal charges brought against the person who caused the injury, the victims still deserve to be compensated for their injuries and other losses, just as in any other personal injury case.

If someone has intentionally caused you harm, you need an intentional tort lawyer on your side. The experienced attorneys at Russo Law LLP give our clients aggressive, high-quality legal representation to hold people accountable for their actions. To schedule a free consultation with one of Russo Law’s intentional tort attorneys, call (917) 675-6553 today to learn what Russo Law can do for you.

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What is a Tort?

Because we don’t want you to get bogged down in legal jargon, it may be helpful to start with a definition. A tort is any act, intentional or accidental, that causes physical, mental, or financial injury to another person. Torts are the basis of more civil litigation in the United States than any type of claim.

Types of Intentional Torts

As mentioned above, tort cases often involve physical injuries, but can also include mental injuries, financial harm, and other non-physical injuries. Here are some of the most common types of intentional tort cases:

  • Assault: An assault occurs whenever someone acts in such a way toward another person that the victim feels threatened and reasonably fears for their safety.
  • Battery: Closely related and often following an assault, battery is any harmful physical contact with the victim that the victim did not consent to.
  • Conversion (theft): If you’ve been deprived of the use of some property and suffered harm as a result, you may have a civil case for theft, seeking damages to compensate you for your losses.
  • Defamation or Libel: Defamation and libel involve making a false statement against someone that results in harm. Intentional affliction of emotional distress: Outrageous conduct intended to cause someone to become severely fearful or otherwise upset.
  • Fraud: Lies, misstatements, or other deceitful actions intended to harm the victim. Trespass: Intentionally entering upon or interfering with the victim’s property and thereby causing harm to the victim.
  • False imprisonment: Restricting the victim’s freedom of movement by physical restraint or through the use of threats.

If you’ve been injured and you believe it was intentional, don’t worry if you can’t tell which of these categories applies to your case. It can sometimes be very difficult to tell the differences between these torts. It’s also important to keep in mind that your injury may be the result of multiple intentional torts. For example, theft may involve both a claim for conversion and a claim for fraud.

Understanding the Difference Between the Civil Intentional Tort Case and Criminal Charges

Looking at the torts listed above, you probably realized that all of those almost all of those torts can also result in criminal charges. It’s important to understand the difference between a civil case for an intentional tort and the criminal charges that may be filed by law enforcement.

To begin with, criminal charges are a case brought by the government (either the State, the City, or the federal government) against the person who committed the actions that led to the charges. The victim is not a party to the case. In addition, the criminal case may not result in the victim receiving any compensation for their injuries or other harms. Instead, the principal objective of the criminal case is to seek jail time or other punishment such as fines, probation, or community service.

A civil case, on the other hand, is a lawsuit filed by the victim seeking a money judgment against the person who committed the tort. The victim is asking the court and the jury to award them a certain amount of money in order to cover whatever harms they have suffered - medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and so on.

Lastly, keep in mind that you can still bring a civil lawsuit even if there is a criminal prosecution. In fact, the outcome of the criminal case might even help you get the compensation you deserve. Criminal charges do not prohibit you from enforcing your rights.

The Difference Between Intentional Torts and Accident Cases

It may seem obvious, but it’s important to understand the difference between these two types of cases. Even though the injuries may be the same, the proof required in an intentional tort case will be very different from the proof required in a negligence case.

Accident cases are judged according to a negligence standard. In a negligence case you need to prove the following elements:

  • The defendant acted or failed to act in a manner that was imprudent under the circumstances;
  • The defendant’s actions caused you harm;
  • The harm that you suffered was a reasonably foreseeable outcome of the defendant’s actions.

In other words, the basis of your claim is that the person at fault didn’t intend to cause the accident, but should be held responsible as a result of their carelessness or recklessness. In proving your case, your lawyer will focus on how the defendant’s actions (or failure to act) fell short of what would be considered ordinarily prudent under similar circumstances.

Intentional torts, on the other hand, are accidents when the other person intentionally committed the actions that caused the victim’s injuries. You will need to prove the following elements in an intentional tort case:

  • The defendant intentionally committed certain actions
  • The defendant’s intentional actions caused you harm;
  • The harm that you suffered was the necessary and obvious result of the defendant’s actions.

The differences may seem obvious, but the distinctions can be quite subtle when considering individual cases. If you can’t prove the defendant’s intent or that their actions definitely would have caused your injuries, a negligence claim may be your only option.

Contact an Experienced New York City Intentional Tort Attorney

If you’re the victim of an injury resulting from another person’s actions, the lawyers at Russo Law LLP are here to help. We can help determine whether you have an intentional tort case or a negligence case, explain your options, and help you decide how to proceed. Our lawyers provide our clients with experienced, aggressive legal representation in order to get the compensation they are entitled to. If you are injured and don’t know where to turn, contact us today for a free consultation - call (917) 675-6553 to learn how we can help.

We'll fight for you while you focus on your health

Let Russo Law fight to get you the results you deserve.

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Thank you for contacting Russo Law. We've received your request and will be in touch shortly. For urgent matters, please contact our office directly at (917) 675-6553.