A tort happens when one person’s conduct results in harm to another. If a tort is intentional – such as an assault and battery – it can be grounds for a criminal case, but it can also be the foundation of a civil case.
While many intentional torts result in serious pain, suffering and loss for the victims, it can be difficult to recover damages for a number of reasons. The first is that most tortfeasors (alleged wrongdoers) in intentional tort cases are not independently wealthy. That means simply proving the case won’t be enough. There has to be a way to actually collect on whatever damages are imposed. In other types of injury cases, this is usually a matter of identifying the tortfeasor’s insurance company and reviewing the policy. But with intentional torts, it’s trickier because most insurance companies – auto, homeowner insurance, umbrella insurance, etc. – won’t cover injuries caused by intentional harm. It’s sometimes referred to as an “intentional loss exclusion.”
Some policies may have some narrow exceptions to this, so it’s important for your attorney to analyze it closely. It may also be possible to hold a third party – such as a tortfeasor’s employer – vicariously liable. However, it will depend on the individual circumstances. Continue reading