When A Personal Injury Is Intentional

30 January 2020
 Categories: , Blog


Civil law provides a number of ways for those harmed to be financially compensated. The broad category of personal injury law can be broken down into a number of areas. It's safe to say, though, that the vast majority of personal injury cases are the result of an accidental harming. Careless drivers can cause untold injuries and damages to victims, but the driver probably did not intend to harm anyone. Another category of personal injury law, however, addresses something known as an intentional tort. Read on and learn more about cases where harm might have been prevented.

Intent Is Not Necessary

Intentional torts should not necessarily be considered the exact opposite of an accident. In many intentional tort cases, the perpetrator did not set out to cause harm. Nevertheless, when someone fails to use common sense (or due care, in legal terms) and ends up causing harm, it might be an intentional tort. Everyone has a duty to do everything possible to ensure that they don't hurt someone. If it can be shown that a perpetrator's actions directly led to harm done, then that person might be guilty of an intentional tort. To give you a better idea, take the issue of driving under the influence. If a driver chooses to drink and drive and hits and hurts a family, they did not use due care. This might be not only a criminal offense but an intentional tort as well.

Criminal Charges May Accompany an Intentional Tort

Some, but not all, intentional torts will rise to attract criminal charges. When you have been harmed by a perpetrator that is also charged with a crime, it can help bolster and strengthen your civil case against them.

In addition, civil cases can be won even if criminal cases are not (see O.J. Simpson). Take a look at this list of some cases that might be tried in both civil and criminal court:

  • Car accident vs. careless driving.
  • Wrongful death vs. vehicular homicide.
  • Medical malpractice vs. medical battery.
  • Defamation vs. harassment.

The burden of proof is different (less stringent) in civil cases and, with the exception of victim restitution, civil cases only provide financial compensation to victims.

What to Do

When you know your civil case is connected to a criminal case, you might want to let the criminal proceedings be completed first. Many criminal cases are resolved using plea bargains and that means the cases can be disposed of at a far faster rate than taking things to trial. Speaking to personal injury lawyer at your earliest convenience is important so that the criminal case can be monitored and used to help build your civil case. Take action by contacting an attorney as soon as possible.