Posts tagged with 'tort'

What is an 'Assumption of Risk' and Why Does it Matter?

In some personal injury cases, the ‘assumption of risk’ defense becomes an issue. While assumptions of risk are not something that everyone who suffers a personal injury has to worry about, the issue can significantly impact your ability to recover money for the injuries you suffered. Today, we are going to take a close look at the assumption of risk, what it means, and why, if you have suffered a personal injury, you need to understand it.


When you talk about assumptions of risk and personal injury cases, you’re talking about torts. Torts are a type of lawsuit that can arise after someone suffers harm or injuries because of someone else’s negligent or intentional behavior. When someone suffers an injury in this situation, the law allows that person to sue the wrongdoer to recover damages (money) for his or her injuries. A tort lawsuit involves the injured person (the plaintiff), suing the wrongdoer, (the defendant).

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Commonly Asked Questions About the Federal Tort Claims Act

Sometimes people suffer an injury because of the negligent actions of an employee of the federal government. When this happens, the injured person often wants to know if they are legally allowed to sue that employee or even the federal government itself. When someone suffers an injury at the hands of a federal employee, the Federal Tort Claims Act, or FTCA, will determine whether you can sue. Here are several questions people often have about the Federal Tort Claims Act.

What is the Federal Tort Claims Act?

Enacted in 1948, the FTCA is a federal law that allows private citizens to sue the federal government in some situations. The FTCA allows private citizens to sue the United State government when an employee of the government acts negligently and causes that person harm.

Prior to the passage of the FTCA, private citizens couldn’t sue the government even if government employees acted negligently. This was because of a principle known as “sovereign immunity.” Sovereign immunity is a legal rule that says that state, federal, and tribal governments cannot be sued.
In other words, under the principle of sovereign immunity, people could not sue their government even if the government did something that harmed them. The FTCA is an exception to the general principle of sovereign immunity.

What is a tort?

A “tort” is any kind of wrongful action that leads someone else to suffer a harm for which the law provides a remedy. When a person commits a tort, that person can be sued by anyone who suffers harm or an injury that results from the wrongful action. In other words, a tort is the legal basis for a lawsuit that arises out of a personal injury case.

Under the Federal Tort Claims Act, people can sue the federal government for torts that arise when a federal employee negligently causes someone harm. Torts can arise out of several reasons, but negligence-based torts are the most common.

When can I sue the federal government?

If you suffer an injury at the hands of a federal employee, you can likely file a personal injury lawsuit against the government itself. In general, you can file an FTCA lawsuit if a federal employee negligently does something that leads to you suffering an injury or loss. However, there are some key limitations to this law.

First, the federal employee has to act within the scope of his or her duties when the harm arises.

Second, you can only sue the government if the federal employee acted negligently. Government workers who cause harm because of an intentional action are not covered under the FTCA, even though they might be covered under different federal laws.

Finally, the state in which the action occurred must have laws that allow you to sue the government. Because each state has different laws that apply to these types of situations, it’s vital that you speak to a personal injury attorney if you are considering any type of lawsuit against the federal government.

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The personal injury lawsuit process is complicated, time-consuming, and, to people who have little background in the law, often difficult to understand. Lawyers and legal professionals use a lot of terms that many people don’t encounter in their daily lives. Though these terms have specific meanings and allow attorneys to be precise when they speak, that doesn’t exactly make it easier for their clients and non-legal professionals to be able to easily follow along.

Because most people don’t have a legal background and don’t have a good grasp of the legal terminology involved in their personal injury case, it can be useful to take a little time to become more familiar with some of the terms you might come across.

Personal Injury Legal Terms

  • Complaint. A complaint is a lawsuit. When you want to file a personal injury complaint, you file documents with a court clerk, pay a filing fee, and then begin the lawsuit process. (Depending on the state in which you live, your complaint might also be known as a petition, or by some other term.) The complaint will contain specific information, such as allegations about what happened, a demand for compensation, and a request to go to trial.
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Crime? Tort? Lawsuit? None of the Above?

Posted on January 10, 2015

Crime? Tort? Lawsuit? None of the Above?

Why You Need to Understand the Differences between Crimes, Torts, and Lawsuits and How They Play a Role in Your Personal Injury Case

It isn’t unusual for people who have little or no legal background to contact an attorney after they become injured or cause someone else to suffer an injury. These people tend to have a lot of questions. For example, they often wonder if they can be sent to jail for what they did. Others who have suffered an injury because of someone else’s actions want to know if they can press criminal charges or file a lawsuit.

While it’s easy to confuse the issues of criminal actions and lawsuits, they are really two very separate issues. If you are involved in a personal injury case of any kind, you need to be clear about the differences, and how they might affect you.

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Types of Personal Injury Cases and Associated Compensation

According to the American Bar Association, personal injury law is designed to protect individuals or their property in the event that they are injured or harmed due to the actions of someone else, or as a result of someone’s failure to act. Personal injury law is sometimes referred to as tort law. Personal injuries can occur in a variety of settings and for a variety of reasons. A primary cause of personal injury is negligence, which is defined by the Insurance Information Institute as “failure to act with the legally required degree of care for others, resulting in harm to them.”

Personal injury may also be based on strict liability or intentional wrongs. The notion of strict liability holds manufactures and designers liable for injuries that result from defective products. In strict liability personal injury cases, the injured party is not required to establish negligence on the part of the manufacturer or designer, but is instead required to show that the product was manufactured or designed in such a way that it became unreasonably dangerous when used for its intended purpose. Personal injury cases can also be based on intentional wrongs, however such cases are rare. An example of a case filed on such a basis would be if a store patron was wrongly detained by a security guard for suspicion of shoplifting; the detained individual might be able to file a suit for false imprisonment. There are several types of personal injury cases that can be pursued, examples of which are described below.

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What is Tort?

Posted on November 23, 2013

What is Tort?

People who have suffered an injury, been involved in a car crash, or who have been damaged by someone else’s actions, often speak to a lawyer about their legal options. For many of these people, this is the first time they have ever stepped into an attorney’s office. They often don’t know very much about the law other than what they have seen on TV or read online.

It’s very common for people in this type of situation to have a lot of questions about the law and the terminology that lawyers use. One of these terms, a “tort,” is something that lawyers often talk about, even though most people don’t really know what it means. Here’s what you need to know about torts.

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What are the Stages of a Personal Injury Case

A personal injury case begins as soon as a person is injured. Witnesses and other evidence of the injury are essential for establishing the case regardless whether the case develops into a lawsuit that goes all the way to trial, or whether it settles outside of court a short time after the injury. The sooner any witnesses or other evidence are located, the less likely they will be lost or forgotten.

Intake: The Initial Meeting of the Lawyer and Client

When an injured person consults with an attorney to represent him or her, the personal injury attorney typically reviews the facts explained to determine the case’s likelihood for success. The personal injury attorney calls this initial meeting of fact gathering between himself and the injured person the intake. The attorney considers many factors that will affect the case, including the time that has passed since when the injury first occurred, the evidence the client presents to him of the injury, the evidence he can expect to obtain in the future, the availability of any persons who witness what caused the injury, the ability of the person or company that caused the injury to adequately provide compensation, the costs he expects the case will incur, among several other factors. He may want to interview other witnesses or do further investigation before agreeing to accept the case. He may also consider whether the case would best be resolved through litigation or by some alternative method of resolving the dispute, such as through arbitration.

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