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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.

Definitions of Tort Law & Personal Injury Law

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

Tort Law: 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 and can form the basis for a lawsuit from the injured party, such as: 

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Wrongful death
  • Fraud
  • Conversion (a euphemism for theft)
  • Trespass on property
  • Defamation (telling harmful untruths orally by print/broadcast

Tort law is one of the major areas in law that amounts to a civil wrong and can result in civil liability. 

Personal Injury: Personal injury law is an area of law which collectively involves physical damage to people’s bodies (and sometimes minds.) 

Difference Between Both 

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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