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All About Intentional Torts

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When the average individual thinks about personal injury lawsuits, they are most likely thinking about an accidental event, such as a car crash. Sometimes, however, personal injury cases involve intentional actions. These types of civil cases are known as intentional torts. This article takes a look at this lesser-known aspect of personal injury law.

Civil Action and Crime

Unlike most personal injury cases, which are based on negligence and do not involve crimes, intentional torts often have a connection to a crime. For example, if someone physically assaults you, they can be charged with a crime and sent to prison. But you also have the option of filing a civil suit against them and recovering monetary damages for the injury you received at their hands. An important point to note is that you might still be able to file a civil lawsuit against someone who is found not guilty in a criminal court. Civil courts have a different standard of proof than criminal courts, so you can win a verdict in a civil trial even if a criminal trial returned a verdict for the defendant.


Certain types of injuries are frequently seen in intentional tort cases. As noted previously, assault and battery can result in an intentional tort suit. Another possible claim in these types of cases is false imprisonment. If someone prevents you from leaving a residence place business, for example, you could file a civil suit against them for false imprisonment. An important exception to a false imprisonment claim is known as the shopkeeper's privilege. A business owner or employee may hold you for a reasonable length of time if they suspect you of stealing.

Fraud claims are also intentional torts. If someone deliberately misleads you into taking an action and that action causes you harm or injury, you have the basic elements of a civil lawsuit for fraud. Fraud includes both false statements and the deliberate omission of relevant information.

If someone intentionally enters your property without your permission, they are committing a civil violation known as trespass to land. You have the right to file suit against them, although, in most states, you must prove that you suffered some damage because of the trespassing.

Suffering a personal injury to your reputation due to libel and slander falls under the legal concept of an intentional tort as well, as does conversion, which involves a person interfering with someone else's personal property.

Intentional torts are a complex area of personal injury law. To learn more about this subject, contact a professional personal injury lawyer.