More about torts

Historically, the development of some laws, legal concepts or legal rules were not from acts of parliament or statutes but from various judgments of English courts as well as courts of various common law countries. Tort law is not a result of any act or statutes but it has evolved from various landmark cases of legal history and that is, what makes law of torts one of the most interesting and captivating areas of law as well as an attractive subject for young lawyers. The meaning of law for the society is recognized from the concept of every wrong has a corresponding remedy. The principle of law of torts which a civil law emerged from the same concept in the 17th century, England and India also follows the same concept of tort.

“ Where there is a right, there is a duty” is a concept that we apply in our everyday life which means for example- if A has a right, B is having a duty to respect A’s right but if B does not respect A’s right and causes him damages, he is liable. It means that if one person’s wrongful act or omission causes damages to another person, one has to provide remedy for the damages he has done. This is based on a latin maxim, “ Ubi Jus Ibi Remedium”, which is the very foundation of the law of tort. The purpose of tort is that the victim who’s legal right is infringed or violated, is compensated by the person who provided damages in the first place and also to discourage them to do the same violation in future. Examples of tort can be car accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractices, trespassing, nuisance, defamation, battery or assault, false imprisonment and negligence. For example- A shop owner mopped the floor but forgot to put the wet floor sign and one of the customers slips and gets injured. In this case, the owner is liable and the law of tort makes him provide remedy to the injured customer.

All torts are based on a very famous concept, “ fault based liability” but today with the growth of tort law, the area expanded to “no fault liability” like strict liability and absolute liability.


Wrongful act or wrongful omission can be done intentionally or accidentally or the wrong-doer can be strictly liable.

1. Intentional Tort
When a person’s wrongful act that results in causing injury to another is done with intention or purpose to do so. In intentional tort, to get compensation, the person must show that the action of the wrong-doer caused him the injury. This injury can be physical harm or mental torture or monetary damages.

  • ●  Battery and Assault
  • ●  False imprisonment
  • ●  Trespass to land or property
  • ●  Trespass to chattels
  • ●  Conversion
  • ●  Unlawful Harassment
  • ●  Invasion of privacy

2. Negligence
When one person’s carelessness or negligent act causes harm or damage to another, one can be liable of tort of negligence. Main elements are-(1) Duty of care, (2)Breach of duty of care, (3) Harm. For Example- If Mrs. Sharma is having construction at her place and Ramu, her servant’s boy, who was helping her mother with cleaning gets injured due to the construction work. Mrs. Sharma can be held liable for tort of negligence. The claimant must prove that there was a duty of care which had been breached and caused injury. Like-Slip and fall accidents, car accidents, medical malpractice.

3. Strict Liability
When an act of a person causes injury to another and the injury is too deep to count the intention or negligence of the claimant, it is a strict liability, example – ultra hazardous activity.

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