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What does a Tort Lawyer do?

Patrick Wensink
Updated Feb 26, 2024
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A tort lawyer is another name for a personal injury attorney. A personal injury or tort lawyer prosecutes or defends any act that involves a breach of civility or unreasonable behavior. This failure to exercise reasonable care is referred to as a civil wrong or a "tort." This legal expert generally serves as a an authority on negligent or intentional acts that may have harmed a client. This attorney is a typically an expert researcher in case histories, legal statutes, and medical interpretations. Many cases are settled out of court, but a tort attorney must also be prepared to try a case in civil court in order to help a client collect money for pain, damages, or loss.

A negligence tort means a person is wronged unknowingly or unintentionally by another party. One common example of this is a "fender bender" car accident that involves two or more parties and where the driver of one car is at fault. A tort lawyer is also frequently involved in seeking redress for intentional acts such as when one individual deliberately harms another either physically or financially. Defamation torts, i.e., libel or slander, are among the most difficult to prove because freedom of speech issues are often implicated.

In order to successfully represent a client in a lawsuit, the tort lawyer must be an expert legal researcher. The lawyer must be very familiar with the various tort laws of the jurisdiction. Prior case law and legal statutes are also crucial for proving a precedent has been set in a case with similar facts. Since physical harm is such a key component of many of these cases, a lawyer must also have an extensive knowledge of medical terminology in order to understand the scope of a client's injuries.

When a tort lawyer represents a client in a negligence, intentional or defamatory case, the attorney frequently seeks monetary compensation. Many cases are settled out of court, but others go to trial. If so, the tort lawyer must present the facts of the case to a judge or jury to prove wrongdoing. Like many court cases, this includes drafting a written complaint, interviewing witnesses, cross examination, bringing in experts to testify, and crafting an argument in favor of the client. The end result must prove that an injury occurred and how much that injury is worth in pain, lost income, medical reimbursement, or other applicable monetary damages. Torts lawyers may also specialize in defending those who are being sued in civil court for committing negligent or intentional acts.

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Patrick Wensink
By Patrick Wensink
Patrick Wensink, a bestselling novelist and nonfiction writer, captivates readers with his engaging style across various genres and platforms. His work has been featured in major publications, including attention from The New Yorker. With a background in communication management, Wensink brings a unique perspective to his writing, crafting compelling narratives that resonate with audiences.
Discussion Comments
By Markerrag — On Feb 11, 2014
What does a tort lawyer do? Laughs all the way to the bank, that's what.

Tort lawyers are the ones who pull in the big bucks. It is amazing how much money there is to be made representing people who have been injured in car wrecks or have been otherwise harmed through the negligence of others.

Patrick Wensink
Patrick Wensink
Patrick Wensink, a bestselling novelist and nonfiction writer, captivates readers with his engaging style across various...
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