Kenny Habetz Injury Law | December 22, 2023 | Personal Injury
A tort is an omission or act that causes harm or injury to another person. It is a civil wrong that a person can recover damages for in a personal injury case. An intentional tort is one of the three basic types of torts that serve as the grounds for a personal injury claim.
Types of Torts in Lafayette Personal Injury Cases
Torts cover a wide variety of conduct that leads to injuries and harm to others. Most personal injury claims involve one of three types of tort claims:
These cases involve a party failing to meet a standard of care owed to the injured party. Negligence is failing to use the same level of care that a reasonably prudent person would have used in a similar situation.
These types of tort cases involve intentional acts that result in harm or injury to someone. An intentional tort involves general or specific intent to cause injury or harm.
Strict Liability Torts
Strict liability focuses on whether or not harm occurred instead of the actions and inactions of the parties involved in the case. A victim does not need to prove negligence or intent to hold a party liable for damages under strict liability.
Types of Intentional Tort Claims in Lafayette, LA
An intentional tort can result in catastrophic injuries or wrongful death. However, an intentional tort does not need to cause traumatic injuries for the party to be held liable for damages. We focus on the party’s actions (or inaction, depending on the case) to prove intentional torts.
Intentional torts in personal injury cases include, but are not limited to:
Assault and Battery
An individual causes a person to fear being injured or harmed or unlawfully touches another person. Assault and battery can include sexual assault, use of a deadly weapon to cause serious bodily injury, and threatening to injure someone. Any action that causes bodily harm could fall within this category of intentional torts.
False imprisonment is the intentional confinement of another person without lawful authority. The restriction of movement can occur by locking a person in a room or using restraints to prevent a person from moving. However, false imprisonment also covers making threats of violence to prevent a person from moving or leaving a place.
Intentional Inflection of Emotional Distress
This occurs when a party intentionally and recklessly causes someone to experience severe emotional distress. The party’s actions must generally be outrageous and extreme. For example, if a person severely beats a child’s parent in front of the child, the child may have a claim under this category.
Trespass to Land
Going onto someone else’s land without their permission is trespass to land. Trespass to land may also occur when you build on or encroach upon another person’s property.
Conversion is the civil act of theft. Instead of intending to deprive a person of their property, conversion includes borrowing property and refusing to return it as agreed.
Are Intentional Torts Criminal Acts in Louisiana?
Many intentional torts can result in criminal charges. However, a person does not need to be charged with a crime to be liable for intentional torts in civil court. Likewise, being convicted of a crime does not guarantee you will win a civil action for intentional tort.
The legal elements of an intentional tort claim are:
- The at-fault party acted knowingly, willingly, and purposefully to harm or injure someone
- The injured party did not consent to the at-fault party’s actions or conduct
- The intentional act committed by the at-fault party caused the victim harm or injury
- The victim incurred damages because of the at-fault party’s intentional act
The injured party has the burden of proving the legal elements by a preponderance of the evidence. This level of proof is lower than the requirement in criminal court to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Because of this lower standard, a victim may still have a valid intentional tort claim even if their offender is found “not guilty” in criminal court.
What Damages Can I Receive for an Intentional Tort Claim in Lafayette, LA?
Louisiana intentional tort claims fall under personal injury laws for damages. Victims can receive compensation for their economic and non-economic damages. Examples of damages in an intentional tort case include, but are not limited to:
- Past and future medical bills
- Rehabilitation and therapy
- Property damage
- Loss of quality of life and enjoyment of life
- Physical pain and suffering
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost wages and benefits
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Nursing and/or personal care
- Diminished earning capacity
- Impairments and disabilities
The amount you receive for an intentional tort claim depends on the facts and circumstances of your case, such as the extent of your injuries and the strength of your evidence.
How Does Contributory Fault Impact Intentional Tort Claims in Louisiana?
Louisiana has a pure comparative fault standard for personal injury cases. Contributory fault apportions damages based on the parties’ level of fault for causing the incident that resulted in injuries.
Therefore, if you are partially to blame for causing your injuries, you may not receive compensation for all damages. The court reduces the amount of your damages by your percentage of fault.
For example, suppose a jury awards you $500,000 for an intentional tort claim. However, the jury determined you were 10% to blame for causing the incident that led to your injuries. Therefore, your compensation is reduced by 10% or $50,000.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Intentional Tort Claims in Louisiana?
Louisiana has a one-year statute of limitations for most tort claims, including intentional torts. Therefore, you must file your lawsuit within one year of the injury date.
There are very few exceptions to the statute of limitations, but they exist and can change the filing deadline for a claim. It is best to speak with a Lafayette intentional torts lawyer as soon as possible to protect your right to file a lawsuit in civil court.
Lafayette personal injury attorneys offer free consultations, so you can get advice without worrying about how to pay for an attorney’s time.
Contact the Louisiana Personal Injury Law Firm Of Kenny Habetz Injury Law for Help Today
If you’ve been injured in Louisiana, please call Kenny Habetz Injury Law for a free case evaluation with a Louisiana personal injury lawyer or contact us online. We have offices in Lafayette and Crowley, LA.