Torts and damages
What is a Tort?
First, it is important to understand that torts are wrongdoings independent of contractual obligations. Generally speaking, there must be no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties because if there is, as a general rule, there is only breach of contract.
A tort is simply a wrongdoing committed by a person upon another person or entity. The associated damages resulting from the tort can arise from either the action or inaction of a person so long as either instance causes some injury, whether directly or indirectly, to another person or entity. A tort can be when a person causes damage to another person, resulting from fault or negligence, either by an action or omission of civil obligation.
The results of a tort, whether physical, psychological, or reputational are all categorically and collectively defined as "damages."
To prove a tort, these three elements must be present: Damage, Fault, and Negligence. However, one must note that if the fault was committed with the intention to cause the damage, the act becomes a criminal act.
Can there be a tort in breach of contract?
Generally, no; however, the existence of a contract does not mean that someone cannot commit a tort against the other. A person can still be liable for a tort even under a contract depending on their circumstance and damages can still be recovered.
An injured party in a case of torts has the option –
1. To pursue a criminal action which includes the claim for civil liability arising from the crime.
2. To pursue an independent, non-criminal, civil action based on the tort.
If the plaintiff and defendant are both at fault, the plaintiff may still be compensated, but the amount of his compensation may only be proportional of the damages caused by the combined negligence of both parties.