What Are Intentional Torts?

A tort is a type of wrongful act that causes harm to another individual. When a person or entity consciously intends to cause harm with such an act, the tort becomes an intentional tort.

For example: Hitting someone in the face is an intentional tort.Surprising someone who has a heart condition which results in that person having a heart attack, on the other hand, is not an intentional tort.

The Differences between Intentional Torts and other Torts

Why does the difference between intentional torts and other types of torts matter? It usually comes down to damages.

Negligent torts allow for the victim to be entitled to damages. The damages incurred by an intentional tort, however, tend to be much more generous in favor of the victim.

When dealing with an intentional tort, it is much easier to get punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. On the other hand, it can be difficult to prove intent, which is required if one wishes to seek damages due to an intentional tort.

Types of Intentional Torts

There are a number of different types of intentional torts. Some forms of intentional torts include:

  • Battery
  • Assault
  • False imprisonment
  • Causing emotional distress
  • Fraud
  • Defamation
  • Invasion of Privacy
  • Sexual Assault
  • Trespassing
  • Theft

What to Do If an Employer Commits Intentional Tort

While individuals are often the perpetrators of torts, employers can also commit a tort against an employee, for example:

  • If an employer defames an employee or purposely causes emotional distress, that would be a tort. Individuals in a role of power can also result in the company committing a tort.
  • If a manger strikes an employee, the employee could seek damages against the employer due to the intentional tort committed by the manager of the company.

If you work for a company that has committed an intentional tort against you, then you have a right to seek legal recourse. To seek damages due to the intentional tort, you should seek out the services of a lawyer who specializes in employment law. An attorney can help you determine what damages you are entitled to, if any, and can represent you in your lawsuit against the company.

Depending on your case, you may not even be required to pay any money up front out of your own pocket. Some attorneys will work on a contingency basis, collecting a percentage of the damages you are awarded as a result of the lawsuit.