Torts are civil wrongs recognized by law as grounds for a lawsuit. These wrongs result in an injury or harm constituting the basis for a claim by the injured party. While some torts are also crimes punishable with imprisonment, the primary aim of tort law is to provide relief for the damages incurred and deter others from committing the same harms. The injured person may sue for an injunction to prevent the continuation of the tortious conduct or for monetary damages.
Among the types of damages the injured party may recover are: loss of earnings capacity, pain and suffering, and reasonable medical expenses. They include both present and future expected losses.
There are numerous specific torts including trespass, assault, battery, negligence, products liability, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Tort law can be split into three categories: negligent torts, intentional torts and strict liability. Negligent torts encompass harm done to people generally through the failure of another to exercise a certain level of care (usually defined as a reasonable standard of care). Accidents are a good example of negligent torts. Intentional torts, on the other hand, refer to harms done to people intentionally by the willful misconduct of another, such as assault, fraud and theft. Strict liability torts, unlike negligence and intentional torts, are not concerned with the culpability of the person doing the harm. Instead, strict liability focuses on the act itself: if someone commits a certain act (say, producing a defective product) then that person is responsible for the damages from that act regardless of the level of care exercised or their intentions.
There are also separate areas of tort law including nuisance, defamation, invasion of privacy, and a category of economic torts.
Tort law is state law created through judges (common law) and by legislatures (statutory law). Many judges and states utilize the Restatement of Torts (2nd) as an influential guide. The Restatement is a publication prepared by the American Law Institute whose aim is to present an orderly statement of the general law of the United States.