Tort Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Tort, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Tort?

Derived from the french word ‘ wrong’ , it means a civil wrong or wrongful act.Torts include injuries made by a person to another for which he is legally responsible.It can be either intentonal or accidental.In most cases the injury caused is likely to be physical but that is not the requirement it can also be mental distress.It relates to something other than a breach of contract.

History and Meaning of Tort

Tort is derived from the French word "tort", meaning "wrong". In legal terms, a tort refers to a civil wrong, or a wrongful act, for which the person responsible is legally liable. This can be either intentional or accidental, and can result in physical or mental harm to the victim. Torts are separate from breaches of contract, which are a violation of a contractual agreement between two parties.

The concept of torts has been present in legal systems for centuries, with some of the earliest recorded examples dating back to ancient Rome. Over time, the definition and scope of tort law has expanded to include a wide range of activities that society regards as wrongful.

Examples of Tort

  1. Negligence - If a person fails to act with reasonable care and it results in harm to another person, they could be held liable for negligence.

  2. Defamation - Making untrue statements about another person that harms their reputation is a tort known as defamation.

  3. Assault - If a person causes another to reasonably apprehend an imminent harmful or offensive contact, they could be guilty of assault.

  4. Fraud - Intentionally deceiving someone for financial or personal gain is a tort known as fraud.

Legal Terms Similar to Tort

  1. Criminal law - Criminal law deals with offenses against the state.

  2. Contract law - Contract law deals with the enforcement of agreements between parties.

  3. Property law - Property law deals with the ownership and use of property.

  4. Administrative law - Administrative law deals with the regulation of government agencies and their actions.

  5. Civil law - Civil law deals with private disputes between individuals or organizations.