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What are the Differences Between a Tort Claim and a Lawsuit?

On Behalf of | Jul 16, 2022 | Personal Injury

Under California law, a tort claim is an informal notice of a pending claim. A tort claim is often made in an attempt to reach a resolution to whatever legal issues may be in dispute without the expense of legal proceedings. In California, civil tort law is meant to address misconduct by one individual to another. This law is utilized to compensate injury victims and in an attempt to prevent further wrongdoing on the part of the defendant.

Conversely, a lawsuit is a formal legal case that has been filed in a court of law. The lawsuit outlines allegations of wrongdoing by one party against the other. However, just because a lawsuit is filed does not necessarily mean that the case will end up being decided in court. In a majority of cases, the two opposing sides negotiate with one another in order to reach a settlement that is mutually satisfying to both parties.

What is the Legal Definition of Misconduct in Terms of Tort Claims?

In California when discussing tort claims can include the defendant committing the following types of actions:
• Intentionally causing pain and suffering
• Cause economic or physical injury
• Violating the constitutional rights, privacy, or property of another individual
• Deliberately damaging another individual’s reputation

What are Some Examples of Civil Torts in California?

In California, tort law allows parties who have been injured due to another individual’s breach of their duty of care to recover financial compensation for the damages they have suffered. Some examples of recurring civil torts in California include:
• Wrongful death
• Products liability
• Defamation
• Negligence
• Civil assault or battery
• False imprisonment
• Trespassing

Does a Tort Claim Always Have to Come Before a Lawsuit?

Lawsuits can be extremely expensive and time-consuming for both sides of the case. Once a tort claim is filed, the opposing party will make a determination as to whether or not they should pay a settlement. If the two parties cannot come to a resolution, then the party who filed the claim, also known as the claimant, has the option to file a lawsuit. At this point, the case enters into legal proceedings and could potentially reach the trial phase.

A large number of tort claims are settled out of court. Settling out of court is beneficial as it significantly shortens the length of time required to reach a resolution and can allow the injury victim to resume their life without the worry of legal proceedings.

Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help Me With a Tort Claim?

If you have been injured and are uncertain of the legal process in California, you need to speak with an experienced attorney who can address your concerns and answer any legal questions that you may have about your case. The legal differences between a tort claim and a lawsuit can be confusing and difficult to understand.

Contact our law offices by calling 310-774-4260 and ask to schedule a free initial consultation.