Can You Sue for an Intentional Tort?
Yes, you can sue for an intentional tort. The very name of the legal concept indicates that a victim can request compensation from the perpetrator because, in legalese, “tort” means “harm.” Your right to hold a person or company that harmed you accountable cannot be denied.
What Counts as an Intentional Tort?
An intentional tort has two components. First, you must have suffered an injury, death of a family member, or loss of money, property, security, reputation or status. Any such outcome would constitute the tort. Medical bills, repair estimates, receipts, contracts, publications and witness statements can be used as proof of harm.
The second part, and the reason hiring an Ohio intentional tort attorney to help you with your case is essential, is intent. To be liable for committing an intentional tort, a person or company must have acted in ways they knew would or very likely would harm you. Examples could include a person who steals your identity to commit fraud, a person who smashes in your car windows, and a company that continues selling a product it knows will hurt users.
An incomplete list of intentional torts that can merit lawsuits includes
- Assault, which includes making threats and physically attacking someone
- Conversion, which is a form of theft that involves falsely asserting ownership and control over an item
- Destruction of property, which can also be considered a form of conversion and is often related to trespassing
- False imprisonment, which involves any means of preventing someone from leaving a location or situation
- Fraud, which encompasses everything from stealing someone’s credit card information to making misrepresentations in order to receive goods, services and benefits without paying or legitimately qualifying
- Invasion of privacy, which covers peeping, filming and recording people without consent, and hacking into computer files
- Liable, which is publishing or broadcasting statements known to be untrue
- Slander, which is telling malicious lies
- Trespassing, which means entering a building or crossing a property line without permission and refusing to leave when asked to do so
Note that many intentional torts are also crimes. Police reports and law enforcement investigation findings can serve an intentional tort lawsuit plaintiff well.
How Do You Prove Intent?
Convincing a judge or jury that the defendant named in an intentional tort lawsuit acted with intent or with such disregard for the consequence that it amounted to intent is often the most difficult challenge for a plaintiff and his or her lawyer. Methods for collecting evidence of intent differ from case to case, but a skilled Ohio intentional tort attorney will have access to independent investigators and subject matter experts who can be put to work on their client’s behalf.
What Can Be Claimed in an Intentional Tort Lawsuit?
The short answer is money. Some settlements or court rulings in intentional tort cases will also require defendants to issue public apologies, cease operations, or take specific actions to prevent inflicting similar harm in the future. As for the plaintiff, however, he or she can only expect to receive payments from a person or company found to have inflicted an intentional tort.
Monetary awards for an intentional tort can include
- Compensation for medical expenses, repair costs, lost past and future earnings, and disability
- Restitution for purchases, investments, fees, and other payments taken by the defendant
- Noneconomic damages for the emotional and psychological harms inflicted
- Punitive damages that serve as noncriminal fines assessed to discourage future bad behavior
A knowledgeable Ohio intentional tort attorney will know how to calculate and substantiate each of these amounts.
If you believe someone has gone out of their way to harm you, contact the legal team at the Columbus, OH, offices of Agee Clymer Mitchell and Portman. We offer free consultations on intentional tort cases, and you can request an appointment with a lawyer online or by calling (800) 678-3318.