Archive for November, 2020

What Are Intentional Torts?

A tort is something someone does or does not do that causes you to suffer injuries. An intentional tort requires intent, whereas a tort does not. The most common intentional torts are false imprisonment, intentionally inflicting emotional distress, assault, battery, trespass to chattels, trespass to land and conversion.

False Imprisonment

If someone holds you against your will by force or threatens you with force in order to hold you against your will, or if the authorities hold you illegally, you are being falsely imprisoned. Locking someone in a room and refusing to let that person leave is an example of false imprisonment, as is someone threatening to shoot you with a firearm.

Intentionally Inflicting Emotional Distress

Sometimes, courts and others refer to this tort as “outrage.” If the defendant – the person who caused you harm – is outrageously crazy that it causes you harm, you could have a case against the defendant for intentionally inflicting emotional distress. However, the mental distress must be severe. For example, if someone tells you a loved one was killed, but the loved one is actually alive and well, this could be considered intentionally inflicting emotional distress.

Unlike other intentional torts, intent is not required to prove the intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Assault and Battery

Many people believe assault and battery are the same thing. Legally, they have two different definitions. If someone assaults you, they create apprehension of harmful or offensive touching. These two crimes are often put together because both things happen. For example, if someone says, “I’m going to slap you,” that is an assault. The battery is the physical slap. Battery also includes actions like throwing things at you or spitting on you.

Trespassing

The law divides trespassing into two categories: Trespass to chattels and trespass to land. Chattels are items that are not permanent, such as a vehicle, a pet, clothing, or a computer. Trespass to land means real estate, including your home.

To succeed in claiming trespass to chattel, the defendant must “substantially interfere” with your chattel. Simply touching something you own or even using it substantially is not considered trespass. It is when the defendant damages the chattel that it is considered trespass.

Trespass to land is not as strict. Even if someone puts their foot on your property it is trespassing as long as the defendant knows he or she is not supposed to be on your property. The real property does not have to suffer damage for a trespass claim to be successful.

Conversion

The tort of conversion is when the defendant interferes with chattel in such a manner that the interference causes you to sell the property to the defendant. For example, if the defendant damages your vehicle, then offers to buy it at a cut-rate price when you could have sold it before the damage for a fair market value, but not after the damage, that is conversion.

If you suffered from an intentional tort at the hands of someone, contact a personal injury attorney. The defendant could face criminal charges in addition to civil charges for his or her actions or inactions.

Motorcycle Accidents and Catastrophic Injuries

When you ride a motorcycle, you know that getting into an accident could cause catastrophic injuries. Sharing the road on two wheels with much larger vehicles is a risk – and of course, you do not have the protection that being inside a passenger vehicle affords. Additionally, many drivers claimed they did not see a motorcyclist after an accident.

Catastrophic Injuries

According to U.S. Code §3796b, a catastrophic injury is one that does not allow you to gainfully work on a permanent basis. These types of injuries are often traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries, though others may be deemed catastrophic if they affect your ability to work.

When another vehicle hits you – or even if you hit another vehicle or a stationary object, the force of the impact can lead to catastrophic results. Additionally, any passenger vehicle weighs much more than a motorcycle. A light tap by a car to a motorcycle could result in devastating catastrophic injuries or even death.

Mitigating Catastrophic Injuries

Safe practices while riding entail more than wearing protective clothing such as leathers and a helmet. Always assume that other drivers do not see you. Even when you ride with the headlight on, people just do not look for motorcycles as they should.

Looking ahead a couple hundred feet helps, too – you can see if someone is going to pull out in front of you and still have time to slow down. Of course, those that pull out in front of you because they do not stop for a light or stop sign when you both approach an intersection at the same time may be unavoidable, but if you make an effort to anticipate these instances, you can avoid many risks going through an intersection.

Before you ride, always check your bike. Check the tire tread, the air pressure in the tires, make sure all the lights are working, and make sure the brakes work. While you can always downshift if your brakes are not in the best condition, that will not help you if you have to avoid an accident.

If you suffer from long-term or permanent injuries, you could be entitled to several types of damages, including past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, loss of consortium and/or companionship, inconvenience, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Motorcycle Fatality and Injury Statistics

In 2017, 5,172 people were killed and about 89,000 people were injured in motorcycle accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In that year, 8,715,204 vehicles were registered. Of those, only three percent were motorcycles (261,456 motorcycles). In that year, of the 20,149 million miles traveled, less than one percent were miles traveled by motorcycles.

Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

While you cannot entirely eliminate the chances of a fatal or catastrophic accident because you cannot control what other drivers are doing, you can mitigate the risk. If you do get into an accident or you lost a loved one in a fatal motorcycle accident, contact a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.