California Tort Law


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California Tort Law

California's Tort Law : Learn it.

What is Tort Law?

Tort law is a body of rights, duties and remedies used by courts with the aim to control and manage violations that cause harm, injuries and loss by giving different kinds of compensation to relieve the person affected by these violations. This person is known as the plaintiff.

Personal Injury claims, property damages and civil cases involving private matters are some examples of legal suits covered by tort laws. Tort law objectives are served when tort liability is imposed on a tortfeasor or defendant, the person who inflicts injury or causes pecuniary damage to another for intentional misconduct/wrong doing, negligence and harmful activities. A California tort law will seek to do the same.

Most California Tort Laws aim to:

  • Compensate individuals for injuries and damages suffered by the intentional and irresponsible action or in action of others
  • Lift the cost of these injuries and damages from the victim to the person or persons responsible for causing the injuries and damages.
  • Discourage future injuries, careless and harmful behavior
  • Support and restore legal rights and interests that have been compromised and almost erased from the society through these violations

What else can it do?

In addition to these the California tort law seeks to give enhanced damages for gross misconduct, which makes it a little different federal law and the laws of other States. Under the California tort law, a plaintiff can be fully compensated for damages for other people’s intentional misconduct or negligence, including medical expenses, pain and suffering compensation, loss of income etc, and on top of that receive an additional sum known as punitive damages, which the law allows the judge to impose on the defendant purely as a punishment for his or her conduct.

This amount is usually much higher than if the defendants misconduct was just an ordinary type of negligence. The judges can arrive at this decision if evidence shows that the defendants misconduct had crossed the line and reached the reckless misconduct or despicable misconduct level.

This is defined in the California Civil Code section 3294 as a misconduct that subjects the other person to cruel and unjust hardship in conscious disregard of that person’s rights. This level of misconduct, gives the plaintiff a higher possibility of getting enhanced or punitive damages.

Other aspects that make the California tort law distinguish it from others include:

  1. California Tort Law Claims Act: allows a person to file a lawsuit against a government body or department. However, this law requires that the plaintiff gives a notice of claim in writing 6 moths prior to filing the lawsuit.
  2. Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act puts a limit on the amount of monetary compensation that a plaintiff can be awarded for medical expenses due to bodily injuries. Other types of claims may also face such limits.
  3. California State introduced California Distinctive Evidence that covers a wide range of torts, separating it from other States laws and federal laws.

A California lawyer is usually in a better position to explain and clarify these laws because of the constant additions and changes to tort policies and some of them are not easy to understand just by reading about the. If you have questions regarding any California tort law, consult a well trained and experienced California lawyer for help.

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