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Illinois torts deal with injury compensation, not sweet treats

Tort reform is something that many in central Illinois may have probably heard of. The subject is not about finding new ways to bake a strawberry delicacy. It has to do with the legal remedies that may be available to individuals to receive essential compensation after suffering catastrophic injury.

Supporters of tort reform tend to be looking for ways to scale back the ability of victims to hold those who are responsible accountable for the damage and disability caused. Sometimes the reform effort might seek to block victims from seeking justice through the civil court system. In other instances, changes sought might involve putting limits on how much compensation can be sought.

What are torts?

Many readers may be unfamiliar with exactly what is meant by "Tort" so this post will attempt to provide some education in this regard.

In general terms, torts represent personal injuries resulting from unintended actions. Very rarely does a car crash happen on purpose. That's why they are often called accidents. However, that doesn't mean no fault can be assigned.

Drivers can cause crashes if they allow themselves to be distracted or choose to drive while impaired. Workers can suffer injuries on the job if they aren't trained in the proper use of dangerous machinery. If an employer, by virtue of negligence, fails to provide for a safe work environment, a tort action might be called for. If a vicious dog's owner doesn't keep it under control, it could launch a brutal attack. Just compensation for victims might demand legal action.

Specifically, there are two types of tort cases. Incidental torts are those that in which one party's carelessness causes the injury or damage. If a duty of care existed, was not met, and tangible harm resulted, negligence could be claimed.

Intentional torts stem from actions that go beyond simple negligence. If a physical assault causes physical or mental injury, intentional tort action might be justified. Other possible claims that might fall in this category could defamation of character, invasion of privacy and infliction of emotional harm.

Someone who commits an intentional tort might face criminal charges, but a tort lawsuit provides victims of such actions the possibility of recovery.

If you wonder if you have a tort case, consult an attorney to learn more.

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