Posted on Sunday, January 1st, 2023 at 11:23 pm
An intentional tort occurs when a person commits a wrongful act on purpose, and it causes harm to someone else. When someone commits an intentional tort, they may be liable for any injury it causes. The victim of an intentional tort can file a lawsuit seeking money to pay for their medical bills and other costs.
Many actions that are torts may also be crimes. In many circumstances, a wrongful act can result in both criminal prosecution and a civil lawsuit. If someone causes you or your property injury, Illinois law allows you to seek compensation through the Illinois civil justice system. To learn more about how the Wallace Miller legal team can help you, contact the skilled intentional tort attorneys at (312) 261-6193.
What is an intentional tort?
A tort is a wrongful act that injures another person. Many torts require only that the act is done negligently to qualify as a tort under the law. However, there is a class of intentional torts. These are wrong acts done purposefully.
To prove an intentional tort, the victim must show that:
- Someone purposefully committed an intentional act to harm them
- The victim didn’t consent to the act
- The act caused them to sustain an injury
- They have expenses related to the person’s act
People act with specific intent when they intend the consequences of their actions. They act with general intent when they knowingly commit the underlying act but do not intend the result. Only general intent is required to qualify the act as an intentional tort.
Difference between intentional torts and negligence
In a tort case, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s state of mind was wrongful. If the defendant acted negligently or intentionally, their conduct was wrongful. If this conduct was wrongful and caused your injuries, it establishes their liability for your losses.
Negligence occurs when someone violates or breaches a duty owed to another person. Tort law measures negligence using a reasonable person standard. If a judge or jury considers a defendant’s action reasonable under the circumstances, it will not find that party liable for negligence. If the defendant performs the wrongful act with intent, they may be liable for an intentional tort.
Types of intentional torts
Intentional torts occur when injury or harm results from someone acting wrongfully and knowingly. Illinois law does not require the person to intend the specific consequences of their actions, only to intend to commit the wrongful act itself.
Here are some of the most common intentional torts in Illinois:
Assault is the reasonable apprehension or fear of imminent offensive contact. Although assault does not have to involve physical contact, it can cause severe emotional, mental, and psychological trauma. Assault and battery often go hand in hand because the victim first fears the contact (assault), and then the contact may occur (battery).
Battery is offensive physical contact. The criminal offense of battery does not require that the victim suffer bodily harm. Any physical contact made in an insulting or provocative way is a criminal battery. If you are the victim of a battery, you have a cause of action to sue your assailant and seek damages for any injuries.
Conversion is an interference with your property to such an extent that you can seek to recover the property’s full value in a personal injury lawsuit. It means to take or use the property so that its rightful owner no longer has use of it.
False imprisonment is the unlawful restraint of someone’s liberty or freedom by another person without their consent. A restraint is unlawful if a person has no reasonable grounds to confine or restrain you.
Intentional infliction of emotional distress occurs when a person acts intentionally, and their extreme or outrageous conduct causes severe or extreme emotional distress. Not only can you recover compensation for the emotional distress and any related medical bills, but also compensation for lost wages and any lost future earning capacity.
Trespass to chattels is an act interfering with your right to possession of some piece or chattel of personal property. This tort is less of an interference with your possession of personal property than conversion.
Trespass to land is an act interfering with your right to possession of land or real property. If someone whose presence was once permitted remains on your property and refuses to leave, you can recover compensation for the harm caused by the trespass.