Introduction There are many situations or acts that are not directly marked as crimes and not arise out of contracts or statutes. Those acts are considered as civil wrongs and cause damages and injuries to individuals or businesses. These damages, injuries or wrongful acts are called tort. Tort is the area of law where in response to a private or civil wrong or injury the courts provide the remedy of allowing a lawsuit for those wrongs, injuries or damages. Thus, the goal of tort is to restore the victim to business or individual’s former condition.
So, if a individual or business is injured by an act or situation, the victim can restore his position by the help of tort law. What is Tort? The term ‘tort’ is the French equivalent of the English word ‘wrong’ and of the Roman law term ‘delict’. The word tort is derived from the Latin word ‘tortum’ which means twisted or crooked or unlawful which is just the opposite of straight or lawful. Torts are usually offenses committed by a person who attempts or intends to do harm. Torts are the acts that injure someone in some way, and for which the injured person may sue the wrongdoer for damages.
Legally, torts are called civil wrongs, which are opposed to criminal ones. According to Salmond and Hueston, “A tort is a civil wrong for which the remedy is a common action for unliquidated damages, and which is not exclusively the breach of a contract or the breach of a trust or other mere equitable obligation. ” Dr. Winfield has made a critical examination of possible or current definition. He told that tortuous liability arises from the breach of a duty primarily fixed by the law, such duty is towards persons generally and its breach is redressable by an action for unliquidated damages.
This branch of law mainly consist various torts i. e. wrongful acts whereby one person is liable for his acts when he violates the legal rights of the other in some of the other way and is supposed to pay damages. The person committing a tort or wrong is called a tort-feasor or wrongdoer, and his misdoing is a tortuous act . For example, if a person enter into the premises of another person, he will be held liable for trespass as law has conferred on every one the right to enjoy his own property and if he interfere with others property, he have to answer for that.
Unlike Contract, no scientific definition has been feasible which could mention the specific elements which would constitute a tort hitherto. Because, the wrongs included under torts are of diverse species, and all of them have their own separate historical background of origination. The key findings of Tort are: ?Tort is civil wrong different from other civil wrongs ?Tort must be distinguished from the breach of contract ?Tort is distinguished from the crime ?The Apt Remedy for Tort is an Action for unliquidated damages ? Tort is the Infringement of a Right in rem. Types of Tort.
There are different types of torts such as intentional torts, property torts, dignitary torts, economic torts, nuisance, negligence, duty to visitors, strict liability torts. But torts can be basically classified as three types. They are: ? Intentional torts; ? Negligence; and ? Strict liability. Intentional tort: Intentional torts are civil wrongs that occur when the wrongdoer engages in intentional activity that results in damages to another. Hitting another person in a fight is an intentional act that is the tort of battery. Hitting a person accidentally will not be an intentional tort since there is no intent to hit the person.
Negligence: Negligent torts are defined as behaviors that jeopardize one’s safety caused by another. As negligence relate to insurance and other claims, but an intentional tort mandates that the defendant be liable for an action that caused unjustifiable harm to another person. The majority of the time, a negligent act is due to carelessness or an unintentional behavior that leads to this damage. Negligence includes car accidents, slip-and-fall cases, malpractice, personal injury, and some product liability cases. Strict liability: In the strict liability tort, the defendant does not have to be proven responsible for the damages.
Unlike negligent and intentional torts, strict liability tort requires a negative outcome to occur even when all precautionary measures were taken to prevent a dangerous event from happening. For example, in most states, when contractors use dynamite which causes debris to be thrown onto the land of another and damages the landowner’s house, the landowner may recover damages from the contractors even if the contractors were not negligent and did not intend to cause any harm. Ingredients of Tort There are four essential ingredients of torts. They are: 1. Wrongful act or omission 2. Duty imposed by law
3. Injury 4. Legal Remedy Wrongful act or omission: Wrongful acts are those acts that will damage the rights of another, unless those are done in the exercise of another equal or superior right. For that reason, the scope of wrongful acts is not limited to illegal acts, but includes acts that are immoral, anti-social, or libel to result in a civil suit. There must be some acts or omissions of a duty on the part of the defendant. For a tort to happen, the person must have first either done something that he was not expected to do or omitted to do something that he was supposed to do.
If there is any wrongful act or omission that causes damages, then the person will be liable for that act. Example: a clock tower was not in good repairs. It fell and killed several people. Municipal Corp. of Delhi was held liable for its omission. The MCD did an omission which was resulted in killing several people of the area and was liable for what it did. Duty imposed by law: A legal duty is an obligation that is imposed by the law. Fail in fulfilling such a duty can result in criminal or civil sanctions. There are some duties that are directly imposed by the law.
The act or omission of an action must be required by the law or the duty must be imposed by the law. It means that if an act that is prohibited by law causes damages, it must be liable under tort. In addition, if the omission of an act that is required by law causes harm, then it is liable under tort. For example, law requires that the driver of a vehicle must drive the vehicle carefully and if driving without care, a pedestrian is hit, the omission of the act of driving carefully is liable under tort. But, if the worshipers stop going to a temple and thereby cause the priest to lose money, this action is not liable under tort because
going to temple is not an act that is required by law. Such duties that are required by law are usually towards all the people in general. Example: The manufacturer company of a drink has a legal duty towards the consumers to ensure that noxious substances are not included in the drink. If the company includes harmful noxious substances into the drink then it will be liable under law and will be punished. Injury: Injury generally refers to a harm suffered, which may be physical or emotional pain and suffering, damage to reputation or dignity, loss of a legal right, breach of contract, or damage to real or personal property.
The act or the omission must result in legal damage or injury. For example, violation of a legal right vested in the plaintiff. This means that the act or omission must cause a damage that is recognized by law as wrongful. For example, a person has a legal right to enjoy his property and if someone throws trash in it, this is a violation of his legal right and is liable under tort. However, it is possible that a legal right is violated without causing any physical or real damage. Example: In the case of Ashby vs.
White, the defendant wrongfully prevented the plaintiff from voting. Even though there was no damage, the defendant was held liable. On the other hand, it is possible that a person suffers a huge loss or damage but none of his legal rights are violated. In such cases, there is no tortious act. Legal Remedy: The way a right is enforced by a court of law when injury, harm, or a wrongful act is imposed upon another individual. It has been accepted that there can be many kinds of torts and if a violation of a legal right has happened, the person is entitled to sue.