Full Video Transcript
A tort is a wrongdoing that results in injury to another person or damage to property. Torts differ from crimes in that crimes are punishable by the state in criminal court, whereas torts generally allow individuals to seek compensation for their injuries in civil court. Sometimes an act can be both a tort and a crime. For instance, threatening to seriously injure someone is in tort law an assault; the victim may be able to sue the perpetrator in civil court for compensation for the emotional distress caused by the assault, while the state may seek jail time in a criminal court. In order to win a tort lawsuit, the plaintiff (the person who initiates the lawsuit) must show that the defendant (the person accused of wrongdoing in the lawsuit) intended to cause harm the plaintiff or had a duty to act in a particular manner, breached that duty, and actual damages or injuries occurred as a result of the breach.