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Is Tort and Personal Injury Law the Same Thing?

Many people use the term personal injury lawyer interchangeable with tort law. Tort is a broad category of law under which personal injury law fits.

Here’s a comprehensive tort law definition from Law.com: 

Tort is defined as a civil wrong or wrongful act, whether intentional or accidental, from which injury occurs to another. Torts include all negligence cases as well as intentional wrongs which result in harm. Therefore tort law is one of the major areas of law (along with contract, real property and criminal law) and results in more civil litigation than any other category. 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.

Tort law is one of the major areas in law that amounts to a civil wrong and can result in civil liability. Personal injury law is an area of law which collectively involves physical damage to people’s bodies (and sometimes minds.) Car accidents, truck accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse. Most personal injury cases are based on negligence. They can also be based on gross negligence or even intentional behavior. Gross negligence in personal injury law means a conscious choice to disregard using reasonable care and is likely to cause major injury or harm to a person or property. 

While tort refers to any wrongful act done to an individual and/or property, personal injury is a specialized area in law which deals with harm inflicted to an individual. It’s also important to note that personal injuries typically occur suddenly and without warning, which can be classified as negligent or strict liability torts.

Tort law and personal injury law can be confusing, which is why you should hire a New Orleans personal injury lawyer to help you with your injury case.

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