Maryland Intentional Acts/Torts Attorneys
An intentional tort occurs when someone acts on purpose. That is, a person purposefully intends the action that results in your injuries. Battery is considered an intentional tort. When a person strikes you on purpose, you can recover your damages. Other examples of intentional torts include trespassing, theft, and false imprisonment.
What is the Difference Between Negligence and an Intentional Tort?
The primary difference between an intentional tort and negligence is that an intentional tort occurs when someone acts on purpose, while negligence happens when someone is not careful enough. In an intentional tort, an actor might not plan all the damages that occur, but they intended their actions to result in losses or injuries. For example, in the case of assault and battery, they intend to hit you.
Most auto accidents are considered negligence. Usually, another driver does not hit you on purpose. Rather, they make a driving error that leads to an accident, which is negligence. On the other hand, if a person uses a vehicle to strike you or your vehicle intentionally, they have committed an intentional tort.
Similarly, if a person throws a ball at you and it strikes you in the nose, that is an intentional tort. It is considered battery because they threw the ball at you knowing that it would probably hit you in the face. If they throw the ball at a wall and it bounces and then strikes you in the face, that is an example of negligence.
Intentional Acts vs. Intentional Consequences
The jury can presume that a person intends the natural consequences of their actions. That is, if someone strikes you, it is not a defense for them to claim that they did not want you to get hurt.
If a person steals your car, it is not a defense for them to assert that they did not want you to be without a car when they stole your car. The question is whether the person intended to undertake the particular action knowing that the result is likely to occur.
Joint and Several Liability and the Right to Contribution
Negligence and intentional torts also differ in the way that defendants must pay for the damage they cause. For an intentional tort, all the defendants responsible must pay all of the claim. This process is unlike a negligence case, where a defendant must only pay for their share of the damages.
For example, consider you have been injured in an auto accident. Two other drivers negligently contributed to the cause of the crash. One rear ended you, and the other failed to stop at a stop sign. The jury apportioned 25 percent fault to the driver that rear ended you, and 75 percent responsibility to the driver that failed to stop at the stop sign.
In this scenario, the first driver pays 25 percent of your damages, and the other driver pays 75 percent. Even if one of the drivers does not immediately pay the judgment, there’s no way to tap the other driver to pay their share. Instead, each driver pays for only the damages that they are directly responsible for because of their negligence.
By contrast, consider an intentional tort, where two different people both strike you on purpose, and you subsequently sustain injuries. In this case, each defendant must pay for all your damages and later recover from one another for any amount of overpayment. You do not get to recover double. However, both defendants are on the hook to pay the entire claim because they acted intentionally. This legal concept is called joint and several liability.
Intentional Torts and Crimes
Many intentional torts are also crimes. Assault, battery, and theft are all crimes. When you have a civil claim against someone for an intentional act, the person may or may not face criminal charges. A state prosecuting attorney authorizes criminal charges, handles the prosecution, and makes decisions about whether to extend a plea offer.
The burden of proof to convict someone of a crime is beyond a reasonable doubt. That is a much higher standard than in civil cases. To win a civil case for an intentional tort, you need to prove your case by only a preponderance of the evidence. Also, in most cases, there are more damages available to you in a civil case than are available as part of a criminal prosecution. a person purposefully intends the action that results in your injuries. Battery is considered an intentional tort. When a person strikes you on purpose, you can recover your damages. Other examples of intentional torts include trespassing, theft,
If you or someone you love sustains injury because of the intentional act or acts of another person or persons, Kim & Grillo Law attorneys are ready to fiercely protect your rights and help you file a lawsuit to obtain just compensation.