Test yourself

Complete the text with the missing words. Write only one word in each gap.

Tort law is the name given to a body of law that addresses, and provides remedies for, civil wrongs not arising out of contractual obligations. A person who suffers (1 p.) may be able to use tort law to receive compensation from someone who is legally responsible, i.e. (1 p.) , for those injuries. Generally speaking, tort law defines what constitutes a legal injury and establishes the circumstances under which one person may be held liable for another's injury. Torts cover intentional acts and accidents.

Personal injury lawsuits are regularly filed by individuals or groups who have been injured as a result of another party's negligence or wrongdoing. These wrongs, which are civil (1 p.) because they fall under the umbrella term of civil law, are called torts. The area of law that covers torts and lawsuits filed for torts is called tort law.

There are three kinds of torts – intentional, negligent and (1 p.) liability torts – and your step will be to determine under what category your injury falls. For example, an intentional tort is caused by someone's clear intention to harm, and creates a much more black and white case than a negligent lawsuit does.

Intentional torts

These torts include intentional wrongs which result in harm. Some intentional torts may also be crimes such as assault, battery, wrongful death, fraud, conversion (a euphemism for theft), and trespass on property and form the basis for a lawsuit for damages by the injured party. Defamation, including intentionally telling harmful untruths about another, either by print or broadcast (libel) or orally (slander), is a tort and used to be a crime as well.

Fill in the gaps below with the names of some intentional torts:

1.  (1 p.) : the situation in which wrongdoer converts the goods to his or her own use and excludes the owner from use and enjoyment of them.

2.  (1 p.) : threat of violence against another person

3.  (1 p.) death: the taking of the life of an individual resulting from the wilful or negligent act of another person or persons.

4.  (1 p.) : oral defamation, in which someone tells one or more persons an untruth about another which untruth will harm the reputation of the person defamed.

5.  (1 p.) : violence against another person

6.  (1 p.) to land: unlawful entry onto another person’s property

7.  (1 p.) : published in print (including pictures), written or broadcast through radio, television or film, an untruth about another which will do harm to that person or his/her reputation.

8.  (1 p.) : any intentional false communication, either written or spoken, that harms a person's reputation; decreases the respect, regard, or confidence in which a person is held.

Negligence torts

When people perform any acts they have a legal obligation requiring that they adhere to a standard of reasonable care that could foreseeably harm others is. This obligation is the (1 p.) of care. If people fail to use ordinary care they (1 p.) the duty of care and negligence occurs because:

• somebody does not exercise the amount of care that a reasonably careful person would use under the circumstances; or
• somebody does something that a reasonably careful person would not do under the circumstances.

The concept of the reasonable person distinguishes negligence from intentional torts such as assault and battery. To prove an intentional tort, the (1 p.) seeks to establish that the defendant deliberately acted to injure the victim. In a negligence suit, however, the (1 p.) party seeks to establish that the failure of the defendant to act as a reasonable person caused the victim's injury.