Tortfeasor Definition

A tortfeasor is the person who commits a civil wrong, such as the at-fault driver in a car accident or the property owner who failed to protect you from a premises hazard. The tortfeasor commits a tort, which is a violation of a right or a civil statute.

The person who caused your auto accident or other injuries, either by acting in a negligent manner or through intentional behaviors, is the tortfeasor in your case. A tortfeasor causes the victim to suffer physical, emotional, or financial losses and is legally responsible for paying for these damages.

How can I hold the tortfeasor responsible for the damages they caused?

While the criminal justice system provides a remedy for those who break laws, the civil system offers opportunities for victims of a tortfeasor to remedy the damages they suffered. Often, the attorneys at Berger and Green can settle these cases through negotiations with the tortfeasor’s insurance company, without ever resorting to a court case. If we do need to file a civil suit to obtain the compensation you deserve, the tortfeasor is the defendant in the civil case.

What if more than one person caused my personal injuries?

In some cases, there is more than one tortfeasor involved. When this occurs, they are joint tortfeasors. This occurs when more than one person shares the fault in causing a car accident, for example. Imagine the driver in front of you drifted across the centerline, causing an oncoming driver to panic and swerve. Both drivers violated traffic laws, while you were an innocent bystander caught up in their mistakes. In this case, the court might apportion the responsibility between the two joint tortfeasors. Each would pay out reparations based on the portion of the liability they hold.

What type of damages can I recover from the tortfeasor or joint tortfeasors?

Tortfeasors may be liable for a wide range of damages after an accident or incident. While the type and amount of damages vary depending on your accident and the severity of injuries you sustained, some of the most common damages compensate victims for the following.  

Financial Losses

Your financial damages from the accident may include medical bills, the cost of rehabilitation and therapy, the cost of any mobility devices like wheelchairs or walkers, the purchase price of other assistive or adaptive equipment, the value of your lost wages, the cost to fix property damage, and almost any other expense related to your accident or injuries.

Future Losses

If you suffered severe injuries or a permanent impairment, you will likely have ongoing care costs or future expenses related to the event. The tortfeasor is liable for these costs, as well. For example, if you suffered paralysis, you will need the money to replace your wheelchair every three to five years.

Non-economic Losses

Your non-economic losses include the emotional damage you suffered. These damages are often called pain and suffering damages.

Contact the legal team at Berger and Green for help with your case.

If you have questions or concerns about filing a personal injury claim against a tortfeasor, the attorneys at Berger and Green can help. Call us at 412-661-1400 today.