Personal Injury Laws
6-1 Offenses Against Individuals
6-2 Intentional Torts, Negligence,
and Strict Liability
6-3 Civil Procedure
Chapter 6 1
•Distinguish a crime from a tort
•Discuss the elements of a tort
•Explain when a person is responsible for
Chapter 6 2
HOW DO CRIMES
AND TORTS DIFFER?
• A crime is an offense against society—a
• A tort is a private or civil wrong—an offense
against an individual
• Punishment vs. Damages
• Elements of each are different
4 ELEMENTS OF A TORT
– Not to injure another (bodily injury, injury a
reputation, or invade someone's privacy)
2. Breach of the duty
– Must prove to collect damages
– Question of fact
4 ELEMENTS OF A TORT CONT….
3. Injury recognized by law
– If you act recklessly, but no injury, then usually
4. Causation – breach of duty caused the injury
– Proximate Cause (PC) – when the amount of
causation is great enough to be recognized by law
– PC exits when: reasonably foreseeable that a breach
of duty will result in a injury
THE TORTS OF ANOTHER
• All persons, including minors and insane people, are
responsible for their conduct and liable (legally
responsible) for their torts.
• Vicarious liability is when one person is liable for the
torts of another.
– Parents and children
• vandalism, damages negligently caused by a minor in a car
• Give minors “dangerous instrumentalities” Guns
– Employer and employee
• Employer liable for employee’s actions
• “Within their scope of authority”
Negligence, and Strict
•Identify nine common intentional
•Define negligence and strict liability
Chapter 6 7
•Assault •Trespass to land
•False imprisonment •Interference with
•Defamation contractual relations
•Invasion of privacy •Fraud
The defendant intended either
the injury or the act.
The tort of assault occurs when one person
intentionally threatens physical or offending
injury to another.
Intentional harmful or offensive touching of
another is battery.
throw a pie in your face
False imprisonment depriving a person of
freedom of movement without the person’s
consent and without privilege.
Privilege is present if the
police have probable cause.
When a false statement injures a
2. Communicated to a third person
3. Bring the victim into disrepute,
contempt, or ridicule by others.
If defamation is spoken, it is slander.
If the defamation is written or printed, it is libel.
INVASION OF PRIVACY
Invasion of privacy the unlawful intrusion
into one’s private life so as to cause outrage,
mental suffering, or humiliation.
Exceptions: Politicians, Actors, People in
the news, police tapping telephone lines
TRESPASS TO LAND
• The tort of trespass to land is intentional
entry onto the property of another
without the owner’s consent.
– Even if they are mistaken
• Trespass may also include dumping trash
on the land or breaking the windows of a
Conversion (steal property and sell it)
1. The property is stolen or destroyed
2. A thief is always a converter
3. Conversion occurs even when the converter
(pawn shop owner) does not know that there is
Occurs when a third party encourages a
breach of contract.
• Fraud occurs when there is an
intentional misrepresentation of an
existing, important fact.
• The misrepresentation must be
– relied on
– cause financial injury
• Opinions DO NOT count.
WHAT IS NEGLIGENCE?
Negligence is the most common tort.
Intent is NOT required, only
1. Duty – “Reasonable Person Standard”
Under 7 years old, 7 and older
2. Breach of duty
3. Causation and injury
Defenses to Negligence
• Contributory Negligence
• Comparative Negligence
• Assumption of Risk
WHAT IS STRICT LIABILITY?
• A defendant is not negligent but is liable
• Makes the defendant liable if he/she is
involved in activities that cause injury
– Dangerous Activities
– Dangerous Animals
– Sale of goods that are unreasonably
•Discuss what damages are available
to victims of torts
•Explain the various stages of a civil
Chapter 6 20
WHAT CAN A TORT
• An injunction may be issued to prevent a tort.
• The usual remedy for a tort is damages
(money) to make the person financially whole.
Actual or Compensatory
• Punitive Damages – additional money to
punish the offender.
HOW IS A CIVIL
• Judges always decide issues of law and
may decide issues of fact.
• Juries (People) decide issues of fact.
KEY TERMS USED
IN A CIVIL CASE
• Subpoena – (Written order for a witness
to appear in court – failure to appear is
contempt of court)
• Verdict – Jury’s Decision
• Judgment – Judge’s Decision
HOW IS A
• The defendant will pay the damages
(money) determined by the judge.
• If the defendant does not pay then:
A writ of execution is obtained to:
Seize and sell and take property, cars, savings