Commonly known as an intentional tort, intentional liability occurs when someone knowingly causes injury or damage to a person or thing. If you have been injured because of a deliberate act, civil action can be taken in the form of an intentional liability claim or lawsuit. At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad, our skilled personal injury lawyers have handled thousands of liability claims, and can help you recover compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and more.
Types of Intentional Tort Cases
Many intentional tort cases also may be prosecuted in criminal court, including:
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress
- False imprisonment
- Libel and slander
- Conversion (stealing)
Sometimes it is possible to bring an intentional liability claim against a manufacturer of a defective product as well. If a manufacturer, distributor or vendor sells a product they know is defective or dangerous, the company may be liable for battery to any person that has been injured by the product.
Intent vs. Negligence
Intent is the main element that distinguishes an intentional liability claim from a negligence claim. In a negligence case, the injured party must demonstrate that that the person who injured him or her failed to act with reasonable care. In an intentional liability case, the injured person must show that the defendant acted with more than just negligence — to prove intentional liability, the victim must show that the defendant acted deliberately.
Regardless of whether or not the defendant intended harm, he or she still can be held liable if someone is harmed by his or her actions. For example, if you jump from behind a door and scare someone with a heart condition and the person has a heart attack, you have committed an intentional tort. Even if you did not intend for the person to have a heart attack, you are still responsible for any harm you cause. If your actions end up hurting a bystander, you could be held liable for their damages as well.
In intentional liability cases a victim also may be able to recover punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. Punitive damages are not meant to compensate victims, but to act as a deterrent for malicious or willfully reckless behavior.
Seeking Legal Advice for An Intentional Liability Claim
Intentional tort cases can be nuanced and complex, so seeking the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney is essential to ensure you receive maximum compensation. Whether you need assistance with settlement negotiations or taking your case to trial, our dedicated legal team is committed to fighting for your rights and helping you get the compensation you deserve. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, contact us at one of our Lehigh Valley offices today.