A tort is a civil wrong arising from an act or failure to act, independently of any contact, for which an action for personal injury or property damages may be brought. It deals with situations where a person’s behaviour has unfairly caused someone else to suffer loss or harm. A person who suffers a tortious act is entitled to receive compensation for “damages”, usually money payment from the person or people responsible.
The tort of negligence is a type of civil wrong where a contract does not exists between two parties and it is not a crime where punishment is the main objective to the offender. For example, trespass on private property or nuisance behaviour, these have no contract between the claimant and defendant and are dealt with under tort.
In tort there must be four elements: 1, Duty of care, 2, Breach of legal duty, 3, Loss suffered and 4, causation. For the case to succeed the claimant must show the following: 1, There was duty of care, 2, There was breach of the duty, 3, Negligence was the main cause. Damages are split into two broad categories:
1, Special damages – are damages that are quantifiable (E.g. loss of earnings, hospitals bills etc.). 2, General damages – are damages that are less easily quantifiable and more subjective. They include elements for pain and suffering, loss of amenity and enjoyment of life, future health problems etc.
Not all types of loss are recognised by the Law of negligence, for example the claimant cannot receive compensation for upset and inconvenience. Nominally the types of loss recognised as being cable of being claimed are: Physical damage to the person or property of the plaintiff, Consequential economic damage,
Nervous shock and psychological damage.
The neighbour principle explains how we should apply reasonable care not to injure or harm anyone, who comes into direct relationship with us or with whom we are involved with. The concept of the neighbour relationship outlines the practical boundaries in which we are a duty of care.
This is an ancient law but has a renewed importance today as it is often used in claims concerning the protection of the environment from pollution and other elements. It protects rights of enjoyment of land and its premises. The tort of nuisance can be defined as an act that causes an unreasonable interference, annoyance or disturbances a person who seeks to exercise his/her rights relating to land. There are two types of nuisance, Public and Private. For example, barking dogs, noisy neighbours and burning rubbish on land.
The area of tort law known as negligence involves harm caused by carelessness, not intentional harm. Proving a case for negligence entitle the injured plaintiff to compensation for his/her harm to their body, property, mental well-being, financial status or intimate relationships. “those who go personally or being property where they know that they or it may come into collision with the persons or property of others have by the law a duty cast upon them to use reasonable care and skill to avoid such collision” stated by Fletcher V. Rylands 1866.
This is one of the oldest forms of civil liability and the oldest form of tort law. Trespass companies a number of separate torts. They can be trespass to a person (assault, battery or false imprisonment). There can also be trespass to goods or land. For example, putting their hands on someone without their permission.
The tort of defamation aims to protect a person from someone publishing a defamatory statement about them. A defamatory statement is a false statement that adversely affects a person’s reputation. The publication must be such as too injure the plaintiff’s reputation in the mind of a reasonable reader. The law on defamation in Ireland is contained in the Defamation Act 1961.
Civil Law and Criminal Law
Purpose of the law
Civil law deals with the upholding...