A tortfeasor is someone who commits a tort, which is a civil wrong. Torts can be either intentional or accidental. Intentional torts are those in which the tortfeasor meant to cause harm. Accidental torts are those in which the tortfeasor did not mean to cause harm but did so anyway. The most common type of tort is negligence, which is when the tortfeasor fails to take reasonable care and causes harm as a result. Other types of torts include assault, battery, false imprisonment, and defamation. You can see more legal terms defined and explained here on our YouTube channel.
Victims of torts can sue the tortfeasor in civil court to recover damages. Damages can include both economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages, and noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering. In some cases, the court may also order the tortfeasor to pay punitive damages, which are designed to punish the tortfeasor and deter others from committing similar torts.
Now you may be asking: “what is the difference between a tortfeasor and a defendant?” The two terms may seem redundant. But they are not always the same thing. “Defendant” is a catch-all term for any perpetrator of an illegal act being held accountable in a court of law. “Tortfeasor” refers specifically to perpetrators of a tort, or civil law offense. It would be incorrect to call, for instance, a man arrested for robbing a convenience store a “tortfeasor.” As he would be criminally prosecuted for the robbery first and foremost. If the owner of the store in were to cause an injury on their property through the negligence and then come under civil suit for it, this would then be a valid sue of the term.
Legal terminology can often be complex and obscure. We here at Malloy Law Offices, LLC want to demystify the legal lexicon for our clients. We take pride in working with our clients to understand their unique legal situation and inform them of their rights. Our attorneys will deploy their extensive knowledge of the law to cut through the nuances and confusing terminology of your case, allowing you to focus on your physical and emotional recovery. Call us today for your free consultation.