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Exploring the Diverse Types of Torts


Missouri personal injury Specialists

Explore the various types of torts and their legal implications with Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien in Missouri. Get advice and protect your rights today.

Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien have been a trusted law firm serving Missourians for over 40 years.

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Understanding Tort Types

Torts are fundamental legal concepts that encompass various wrongful acts leading to harm. They can be broadly categorized into three main types: deliberate, negligent, and strict liability torts, with subfields such as economic torts, defamation, invasion of privacy, and annoyance further delineating the legal landscape.

So, what are torts exactly? In simple terms, they represent wrongful acts resulting in harm. This harm can manifest in various ways. For instance, an intentional infliction of harm, such as physical violence or sexual assault, can lead to a tort claim. However, more commonly, torts arise from negligence, typically characterized by carelessness. Everyday examples of negligence-related torts include distracted driving, slip and fall incidents, and medical malpractice.

The implications of torts for individuals are significant. If you believe you have suffered a tort, seeking legal counsel from one of our experienced tort lawyers is advisable. They can help you identify the specific type of tort relevant to your situation and offer insights into the potential outcomes of legal action.

At Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, our dedicated legal team is here to assist you. If you’ve been affected by a tort and need guidance or representation, we encourage you to reach out to us. We have a proven track record of helping individuals like you navigate the complexities of tort law and seek the justice and compensation you deserve. Don’t hesitate to contact us and take the first step towards resolving your legal concerns.

Understanding Tort Types

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Classification of Torts

As we have already seen, there are three basic categories of torts: intentional torts, negligent torts, and strict liability torts.

Intentional Torts

People commit an intentional tort when they do something wrong with knowledge, intent, and willfulness. A defendant who engages in an intentional tort typically does so to hurt, injure, or otherwise cause damages to the victim.

An intentional tort may be planned out in advance or decided upon during the offense. Intentional torts include:

  • Assault
  • False imprisonment
  • Emotional distress
  • Defamation
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Negligence
  • Professional malpractice
  • Premises liability
  • Product liability
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strict liability torts
  • Abnormally dangerous activities
  • Ultrahazardous activities

In addition to facing criminal charges under criminal law for these offenses, the offender may be held civilly accountable for their deliberate wrongdoing or misconduct as a civil wrong.

Negligence Torts

People who commit negligent torts hurt others by failing to exercise appropriate care, typically referred to as a reasonable standard of care. The act is compared to that expected from a reasonable person.

Only when the person had an obligation to act is the failure to act deemed negligent. When the defendant’s activities were disproportionately risky, negligent torts occurred. Accident-based injury cases, such as car accidents and slip-and-fall occurrences, frequently involve negligence-based torts.

Tort liability requires the following four components:

  • A duty: This outlines the legal requirement to act reasonably. For example, this includes following traffic regulations, exercising additional caution when driving, and keeping a vehicle in excellent working order.
  • A breach of that duty: Causing harm by irrational or reckless behavior is a breach of duty.
  • Causation: The defendant’s act must have directly caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
  • Damages: Medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage are examples of damages in negligence-based tort claims.

Comprehending these components is essential to demonstrate carelessness or negligence in a personal injury lawsuit.

Strict Liability Torts

Strict liability requires the plaintiff to establish not only that the tort occurred but also the defendant’s culpability, making it distinct from cases based on negligence.

Strict liability is often applied in situations where there is a significant risk of harm, and society deems it appropriate to make the responsible party automatically liable for any harm that occurs. Common examples of strict liability include cases involving defective products, certain hazardous activities such as intoxicated driving, and the ownership of dangerous animals.

Strict liability is a legal standard that places the burden of compensation on the party responsible for causing harm, irrespective of their intent or level of care exercised, to ensure that victims receive compensation for their injuries or losses.

Classification of Torts

Confused about personal injury in Missouri? We are here to answer your questions.

What Is the Difference Between Intentional and Negligence Torts?

The main distinction between deliberate and negligent torts is the mental state and intent of the party who caused the harm and how the harm was caused.

Negligent torts include harm brought on by a failure to exercise reasonable care or a standard of care. In contrast, intentional torts involve harm brought on by a conscious purpose to do harm or a deliberate act.

Legal culpability may result from either tort, but there are substantial differences between them in the intent and state of mind of the person committing the tort.

However, monetary compensation is possible in the form of punitive damages, whether intentional or negligent tort takes place.

Ensuring You Receive Fair Compensation


Torts address the complexities and nuances of personal injury cases stemming from civil wrongs. Central to understanding these cases is the statute of limitations on personal injury, which can vary depending on the circumstances of the case. The general statute of limitations for personal injury cases is typically two years. This means that you generally have two years from the date of the injury or the date you discovered the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit.

To navigate this intricate legal landscape, individuals often turn to workers’ compensation attorneys who understand personal injury law. These attorneys work closely with the injured party to determine the most appropriate types of compensation to pursue based on the unique circumstances of each case. The compensation sought typically includes categories such as:

  1. Medical Bills
  2. Lost Wages
  3. Wrongful Death
  4. Pain and Suffering
  5. Property Damage
  6. Emotional Distress
  7. Reduced Quality of Life

Securing a just settlement is paramount to ensuring not only financial recovery but also overall well-being. Therefore, having a proficient attorney well-versed in the nuances of tort law is essential. This ensures that individuals seeking compensation for their personal injuries receive the representation and support they need for a fair and equitable resolution to their cases.

How Our Personal Injury Attorney Can Assist You

Our personal injury attorneys help clients in tort cases involving injuries by determining the case’s viability, offering legal counsel, looking into the incident, determining liability, negotiating with insurance providers, and, if required, representing clients in court.

Additionally, our tort lawyers can assist with document management, hire qualified expert witnesses, calculate damages, and stand up for the rights and interests of our clients. We aim to ensure that our clients receive just compensation while assisting them with the legal process.

The tort attorneys at Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien in Missouri have many years of experience in evaluating and assisting clients who are either considering suing on a potential tort claim as an injured party or defending a tort claim.

If this is you, consider calling us today for a case evaluation. All consultations are in strict confidence and will allow you to assess whether we fit you. Do not leave your decision until tomorrow. The statute of limitations clock is ticking.

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