How Intentional Torts Figure Into Injury Law

When folks imagine working with a personal injury attorney, they oftentimes picture dealing with cases of negligence and recklessness. These are claims that involve someone accidentally doing something harmful, failing to protect others, or causing harm through overdoing something.

A less-discussed set of personal injury law services includes what are called intentional torts. These are injuries that occurred because the defendant wanted to harm another person and they succeeded. Let's take a look at the implications of intentional actions in injury claims and lawsuits.

Compared to Criminal Cases

The classic version of an intentional tort is one arising from an assault. Someone beats another person with the intent of harming them. Although this may sound like a criminal case — and there's certainly an argument for pursuing criminal charges — the criminal side of the equation doesn't get you compensation for your injuries. The most prosecutors are going to do is through the person in jail, fine them, and recover court costs. None of that has anything to do with paying your medical bills.

Injuries arising from malicious actions, though, are compensable in the same way that injuries from accidents are. You have the legal right to demand that the other party pay your medical bills, and you may have an opportunity to collect punitive damages to punish their wrongdoing, too.

One of the trickier things for a personal injury attorney to consider is whether they want to see how the criminal case lands. It definitely helps to have a criminal conviction against the at-fault party, but you can pursue a claim absent a conviction. You can even pursue a claim if the person has been found not guilty by a criminal court because the standard of evidence is lower in injury cases.


The preferred course of action for a personal injury attorney is to go after parties that have insurance. For example, if mall security illegally detained a person, there's a good chance the mall is insured. In such cases, the attorney will focus on the business as the defendant rather than the security personnel.

That doesn't mean you should forget pursuing action against an uninsured party. It just means that additional legal effort may go into placing liens on their property if they don't have the money to pay a settlement or a judgment. Also, an uninsured party doesn't have the motive that an insurance claims adjuster does to pay out all valid demands for compensation.

To learn more about personal injury law, contact a law firm in your area like Maruca Law.