Tort Definition

A tort occurs when someone commits a civil wrong, usually by acting in a negligent manner that causes injury to another person or by infringing on someone else’s rights. When a person commits a wrongful act—whether intentionally or because of careless behavior—they are responsible for reparations of any damage sustained.

How can I hold an at-fault party liable for the damages they caused?

State statutes and common law outline the situations where at-fault parties, known as tortfeasors, are responsible for your damages. Tort laws provide us with a process that allows us to seek a financial remedy for the damages you suffered because of the tortfeasor.

If you unfairly suffered financial loss, physical injury, or emotional harm because of another person, we can often file an insurance claim to recover compensation for the damages you sustained. Usually, we can negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company and avoid court. However, occasionally we need to file a civil suit to hold a tortfeasor liable for the damages they caused.

What are the three types of torts?

In general, there are three types of torts: intentional, negligence, and strict liability. Most commonly, we deal with torts based in negligence. A driver glances at their children in the back seat and runs a red light or a shop owner forgets to mop the floor after a spill. They did not intend to cause you harm, but the accident happened and they are still responsible for the damages it caused.

Intentional torts are much less common. This occurs when the tortfeasor means to cause harm to the victims. Assault cases and abuse can both fall into this category. If these cases go to court, the judge is likely to award punitive damages to punish the tortfeasor for their reckless actions.

Strict liability is most common when the tortfeasor is a large corporation. Defective product claims are one such example. Under strict liability, we do not need to prove negligence or intent. For example, we only have to show there was a serious flaw in the product and it caused your injuries to collect compensation in a product defect case.

What is the outcome of a tort action in Pennsylvania?

Victims of wrongful acts usually file tort actions against the responsible party in hopes for recovering compensation that pays for the damages they suffered. In some cases, these victims also request an injunction. This type of court order compels the tortfeasor to stop doing the activity that caused the victim’s damages.

In a car accident claim, the victim might request compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. The victim of a defective product might ask the court for many of the same things, as well as an injunction that bars the company from continuing to market and sell the product in question.  

Berger and Green: Pittsburgh Tort Law Attorneys

If you need help holding the at-fault party responsible for the damages they caused you in a Pittsburgh accident, the legal team at Berger and Green can help. Call us at 412-661-1400 for your complimentary consultation.