In legal terms, a tort is a civil wrong, as opposed to a criminal wrong. The term “tort” does not refer to actions based on a contract or statute. It is an act that injures someone and for which the injured can sue the wrongdoer for their personal injury damages. Sometimes, the injury is physical (resulting from assault—an intentional tort, for example), but there can be nonphysical injuries involved as well, such as mental distress caused by slander. There are different categories of torts including negligence, intentional torts, statutory torts, nuisance, defamation, and economic torts.
Tort law refers to the area of law that imposes a duty on citizens to avoid causing harm to others. It falls under the umbrella of “common law,” which is determined through the amassed decisions of courts and similar tribunals over time, as opposed to legislation by governmental bodies. Personal injury cases often fall under tort law. Therefore, it helps to have an experienced personal injury attorney to find and interpret precedents set by similar court decisions in the past.