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Civil Actions: Torts and Accidents

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Civil law allows those harmed by the actions of others to be compensated. This form of law differs from criminal and others chiefly with its punishment. No one will be going to jail if they lose a civil lawsuit. However, they can lose quite a bit of money. To find out more about the difference between a civil tort and an accident, read on.

Accidents Are, Yes, Accidental

You can be injured by either carelessness or on purpose and that is the main difference between accidents and intentional torts. It's safe to say that most car accidents are caused by carelessness, inattentiveness, drowsiness, and more. As long as it was just an accident, it doesn't rise to the level of intentional. Even car accidents, however, can become intentional torts under the right circumstances.

When an Accident Becomes an Intentional Tort

It takes more than carelessness to make the distinction and it's important for those taking action to understand the difference. Take any accident and add certain elements and you get a tort. For example, if the driver was texting at the time of the accident they are possibly breaking the law and therefore it's more than just an accident. Take a look at other car accident situations that can be intentional torts rather than accidents:

  • When a loved one dies as a result of vehicular homicide, that may be an intentional tort known as wrongful death.
  • When a car accident happens because of an intoxicated driver, that may be an intentional tort.
  • Car accidents that occur due to improper signals or signage might trigger a lawsuit against a city, county, or state highway department.
  • When a pharmacy mixes up vaccination doses and it causes sickness or death, that is not just due to carelessness but a lapse in proper procedures.

How to Take Action After an Accident

Most victims want to assume that the harm done to them was an accident and in most cases, it is. However, you might want to look beyond the obvious and find out more. To ensure you bring attention to issues and get paid for them, do the following.

  • Get medical treatment help immediately and keep up with your medical records and paperwork.
  • Don't speak to the other side no matter what. That means don't talk to the other driver, their insurers, their lawyers, the pharmacy, or anyone else about the accident or your treatment.
  • Speak instead to a personal injury attorney. They will investigate the case and identify instances of intentional harm.

You might keep other potential victims from harm's way by taking action against a bad driver or negligent business. Speak to a personal injury attorney to find out more.