What is the difference between a tort and a crime?

December 23, 2009

A tort is essentially a legal dispute between two individuals. One individual has been accused of committing a civil wrong against the other individual. The party who was wronged can bring a civil lawsuit against the party who caused their injuries and seek financial compensation for their losses.

A crime, on the other hand, is considered to be a wrong committed against society as a whole. Whereas the remedy for a tort is a civil lawsuit, crimes are redressed through criminal prosecution by the state of the offender.

Sometimes an act is both a crime and a tort. Battery (the use of force against another person that results in bodily injury), for example, is a crime in Texas punishable by law. However, it is also a tort and could serve as the basis for a personal injury lawsuit. Whether or not the wrongdoer is prosecuted and/or convicted does not have a legal effect on the injured party’s ability to bring a civil lawsuit.

For free legal advice about Texas personal injury lawsuits, contact the law firm of Fears | Nachawati today. To speak with one of our Texas personal injury lawyers, simply email us or call our toll free number at 1.866.705.7584.

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