Some injuries occur purely by accident, a chance mistake or encounter which could not have been foreseen. In other cases, injuries occur as the result of someone’s reckless or negligent actions, conduct that could have reasonably been foreseen to cause injuries or damages to others. Intentional torts are a whole other scenario, in which someone actually intended to harm or injure another person. Intentional injuries often involve violations of the law, and criminal courts dole out punishments to the perpetrators of these crimes. While legal punishments can bring a sense of justice to injured parties, these people still are left dealing with the financial ramifications of their injuries, such as medical expenses, lost wages, as well as their pain and suffering. Fortunately, personal injury lawsuits can help victims of violent crimes or actions get the compensation they need to recover from their injuries.
Intentional Acts Meant to Cause Injury to Others
According to figures from the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), over five million people were injured as the result of a violent crime in 2014. Recent news reports on increases in violent crimes in San Francisco indicate that the crime rate in the Bay Area has gone up 13 percent since last year. In response, the San Francisco police department has added more officers in efforts to both prevent these crimes from occurring, while catching those who are at fault. Violent crime impacts both children and adults, and men as well as women. Intentional acts meant to cause injuries to others include the following:
- Domestic abuse;
- Child abuse and neglect;
- Elder abuse and neglect;
- School bullying;
- Intentional acts of emotional distress.
The perpetrators of these acts may or may not be known to the victim and, unfortunately, in some cases criminal charges are never filed. Regardless, those who are victimized by intentional torts can suffer serious, disabling, and potentially life threatening injuries. Damages suffered often include physical injuries requiring medical care and the need for ongoing treatment and physical rehabilitation, as well as psychological harm which may take years to learn how to manage.
California Law On Intentional Torts
A personal injury lawsuit can be filed on behalf of an injured person on the basis of intentional infliction of harm. Section 1708 of the California Civil Code prohibits one party to injure the person or property of another or to infringe on their rights. In an intentional tort action, injured parties may be entitled to the following types of damages:
- Special damages, which are economic damages that occur as the result of an injury, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and physical rehabilitation.
- General damages, which are non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, and mental anguish caused by the injuries.
- Punitive damages, which are an amount over and above special or general damages that are meant to punish the at-fault party and to discourage this kind of behavior in others.
Through a personal injury lawsuit, people who have been injured as the result of the intentional acts of another can get a sense of justice, while also getting the compensation they need in order to recover from their injuries.