What are the elements of Tort?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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A tort is a claim of negligence from one party to another, where the affected party has been injured and financial compensation is asked for. This compensation can take the form of medical bills, lost salary,  or emotional/psychological effects.

In order to proof such negligence, there are four elements to a tort that must be evidenced in order to grant the claim of negligence any credibility.

First and second, there must be duty and evidence of it being performed poorly. In other words, the person who committed the injury or negligence must have had a commitment made to you. This is what “duty” is.  Hence, for someone to serve you wrong (neglect) they must have shown a commitment to serve you right. For example: a physician, clinician or even your supervisor have  a duty towards the people whom they serve and evaluate.  They are there to make us feel better, to treat a condition or, in the case of a supervisor, to ensure that we are working under the safest and most ethical conditions. The second component then comes when this duty is compromised and performed in a negative way; it becomes a ground for a potential tort.

The third component is evidence of actual injury. If you claim that your boss is driving you insane, or causing you to have nervous breakdowns, you must have proof that you received treatment for that exact injury. Likewise, any medical issue should come with approved documentation showing that there is in fact an injury present.

The final component is to show evidence of a correlation; that it was your boss, and not your drinking, or your own perception, what actually caused the nervous breakdown. Or, that the reason why your physical pain is present is because of a specific procedure caused by a physician.

Hence, all is in the evidence. If there is plenty of proof that shows a correlation between the task at hand that someone had promised to do and an adverse effect that came as a result of it, then there are grounds to claim a tort.

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