Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions: Insurance

Liability

LIABILITY – What is a "tort" anyway?

The main legal concept of “liability” is found in the law of Torts. A “tort” (the French word for “wrong”) is an act that involves a breach of a civil duty owed to someone else other than a breach of contract. Torts include all negligence cases as well as intentional wrongs which result in harm. Tort Law defines what is a legal injury and, therefore, whether a person may be held legally liable for an injury they have caused.

Liability then can be defined as “the responsibility or obligation of one party to another party that is enforceable in a court of law.”

The four most common types of torts are:

  1. Accidental Tort – A civil wrong caused by negligence that leads to accidental bodily injury or property damage.
  2. Intentional Tort – A civil wrong committed on purpose that causes harm like libel, slander, wrongful entry or eviction, false arrest or unlawful detention, and assault or battery.
  3. Strict Liability Tort – A civil wrong causing injury by a product that is defective or hazardous where strict liability is assigned to the manufacturer or seller.
  4. Absolute Liability Tort – A civil wrong caused by a dangerous instrumentality like explosives or highly flammable materials, firearms and animals where absolute liability is assigned without regard to fault or negligence.

A person who suffers a tortious injury is entitled to receive "damages", usually monetary compensation, from the person or entity responsible — or “legally liable” — for those injuries. Tort cases include demands for damages as a result of accidents that cause bodily injury or property damage like auto accidents, slip & falls, injury from a product, or accidents arising out of business activities and the like. But, legal injuries are not limited to physical injuries. They may also include emotional, economic, or reputational injuries as well as violations of privacy, property, or constitutional rights.

Need liability insurance? 

AMERICAN INSURANCE has liability coverage available for every kind of personal and business need. Contact us for the advice of our professional agents and free coverage quotations.


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The content of FAQ articles are general in nature and are not intended as a substitute for professional legal, financial, or insurance counsel for individuals. Insurance coverage forms vary by issuing company and by state. For specific advice contact us.

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