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What is a tort?

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โˆ™ 2016-03-21 07:27:36

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A tort is a civil wrong for which a remedy may be obtained. Basically, a tort is something someone else did wrong that caused you injury and for which you can sue. In this context, driving negligently, hitting someone and causing injury is a tort, and the injured driver can sue the one who caused the accident.

A tort can be intentional -- like an angry punch in the nose -- but is far more likely to result from carelessness (called "negligence"), such as riding your bicycle on the sidewalk and colliding with a pedestrian. While the injury that forms the basis of a tort is usually physical, this is not a requirement -- libel slander and the "intentional infliction of mental distress" are on a good-sized list of torts not based on a physical injury.

The law of torts came from a combination of common-law principles and legislative enactments. It comes from the Latin term torquere, which means twisted or wrong.

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โˆ™ 2016-03-21 07:27:36
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โˆ™ 2014-11-15 02:11:21

In addition to the explanation stated in the prior answer, it is important to understand that, while a tort is a civil wrong, it is distinguished from a breach of contract, which is also a civil wrong. Therefore, a tort is a civil wrong that is not a breach of contract. Additionally, the measure of damages for a tort is different from that of a breach of contract.

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โˆ™ 2016-03-21 07:40:47

In nursing, a tort is defined somewhat differently.

For example, nursing obviously involves touching a person's body. A nurse takes a pulse, blood pressure reading, listens to a person's heart, inserts an IV, helps a person to stand, etc. etc. However, if a patient says "Do not touch me!" (a refusal of nursing care), it can be a tort if the nurse persists in touching or trying to touch the person (except in a life-saving action or emergency). For example, if a patient says "don't touch me!" but a fire starts, a nurse better rescue that patient or the nurse could be charged with criminal offenses.


Restraining a patient is another big issue. A tort can arise from nursing staff restraining a patient without following proper guidelines, or using restraints as a punitive measure.


Also, any action a nurse does (which a nurse should never do) that is intended to punish a patient could be a civil tort, even if no direct harm is done to the patient. For example, a bedridden patient refuses to wash or allow staff to wash the patient. In frustration, the nurse dumps the basin of tepid (barely warm) water onto the patient and leaves the room, leaving the patient soaking wet. Though there was no "injury", it can still be a tort. Same if a nurse neglects to do (whatever) care or service for a patient who the nurse has deemed "uncooperative". "nasty", "belligerent", etc. A patient can have a bad attitude; a nurse should know how to deal with "difficult" people without compromising nursing care.



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