Basic Introduction of Torts

AuthorSonia yadav And Nandini Gautam


The word “TORT” is derived from a Latin word, "tortum", which means to twisted. This word is similar of English word Wrong.


“Something wrong that somebody does to somebody else that is not criminal, but that can lead to action in a civil court”: Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary.
“A legal wrong committed upon person or property.” Black’s Law Dictionary.

What we can understand from these dictionary meanings:
In a broader sense: A tort is an act or omission that gives rise to legal injury or harm to another person, and amounts to a civil wrong, for which courts impose liability.
In easy way, one can define tort as, any act which violates the legal rights of another person, termed as the tort.


The primary aim of law of tort are to provide relief to injured parties in the form of damages, but not in the form of punishment, and to deter others from committing harmful acts.

Terms related to tort:

1.       Tortfeasor: a person who commits the tort by violating someone’s legal right, either intentionally or committing an act negligently.
2.       Plaintiff: The plaintiff is the person who brings a lawsuit to court, by filing a plea or motion. More frequently now-a-days, in civil law cases, a plaintiff are often called a claimant. i.e., the plaintiff or claimant is the person bringing a claim against another person. The term claimant is also used in arbitration cases. 
Note: In criminal cases it is  called "complainant.”
3.       Defendant or Respondent: the one who responds). The defendant is the person being sued or the person against whom the complaint is filed.
4.       Damages: Damages are a remedy in the form of a monetary award to be paid to a claimant as compensation for loss or legal injury.
Note: In civil cases, the tortfeasor awarded damages whereas in criminal cases the wrongdoer awarded punishment. Damages should not be confused with damage. as damages mean the compensation to the plaintiff from defendant, while damage refers to the harm which is caused to the person.
5.       Legal injury: any legal harm done to a person by the acts or omissions of another. Injury may include physical hurt as well as damage to reputation or dignity, loss of a legal right etc. or, violation of one’s legal rights.
6.       Defamation: the act of making false statement about another which damages his/her reputation
7.       Nuisance: something that interferes with another’s right or interacts by being offensive, annoying or dangerous.
8.       Negligence: breach of legal duty, or, duty to act in a reasonable manner like a prudent man behave.
9.       Trespass: an unlawful act of someone, which causes the injury to the person or property.

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