Although the majority of personal injury lawsuits involve incidents that occurred accidentally, it's possible to successfully sue another party who intentionally causes you harm. However, unlike lawsuits resulting from accidents, tort law allows you to file for punitive damages against the other party. Following are five circumstances in which you can file an intentional tort personal injury claim.
Being arrested is an embarrassing experience that can also have negative consequences on your work and personal life. However, certain circumstances have to apply before you can win a personal injury lawsuit for false arrest, such as:
- Failure to inform you of what you are being arrested for.
- If a warrant is involved, the warrant must contain your legal name, the name of the court that issued the warrant, and the nature of the offense that you're being charged with.
- The arresting officer must have jurisdiction in the location of the arrest. For instance, an out-of-state law enforcement officer will probably not be able to arrest you.
Being found innocent of the crime that you were arrested for is not usually considered grounds for a personal injury lawsuit if the arrest itself fell within legal boundaries.
In a legal sense, conversion is used in civil law to denote theft. Most conversion cases follow criminal charges or convictions and involve situations where the other party has manipulated another into signing over property or assets using deceitful means. Elderly people are often the victims in these cases. Conversion can also mean simple theft -- you can file a civil personal injury lawsuit against someone who stole your car, for instance, as long as you can prove that the theft resulted in significant financial loss or emotional distress.
Unlawful trespass is another instance in which you may be able to file a civil personal injury case against the perpetrator. This type of case is often filed by former domestic partners who have gone their separate ways. These cases are stronger if the plaintiff has obtained a restraining order or if the defendant has been actually convicted of committing an act of trespass. If you think that you may have grounds for a civil personal injury lawsuit on the basis of trespass, talk with your divorce attorney to find out what your options are.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
In order to successfully sue someone for intentional infliction of emotional distress, it's necessary to prove to the court that the defendant acted in an outrageous or reckless manner. For instance, if you are in a relationship that comes to a painful end, you won't have a case against your ex partner for for the hurt and pain that the situation has caused you unless the person did sometime truly shocking and reprehensible to you.
You can file a civil personal injury lawsuit for defamation if someone intentionally makes false statements about you that have resulted in harm to your work or personal life. For instance, if someone falsely tells your coworkers that you have a drug addiction problem and it causes problems at your job, you may have a viable reason for filing a lawsuit. However, it's usually required that you be able to prove that the plaintiff was aware at the time of the falsehood that the accusations were not the truth. You may also have grounds for filing a defamation case if your relationship ends or suffers severe setbacks because of the lies of others, but this particular type of case is often hard to win in court.
Tort law varies by state and also changes somewhat frequently as new legislation is enacted, so be sure to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who is current with all of the applicable tort laws.