Tortfeasor Law & Legal Definition


A tortfeasor is a person or entity who commits a tort. Torts are civil wrongs, as opposed to criminal offenses, for which there is a legal remedy for harm caused. Tort law is law created through judges (common law) and by legislatures (statutory law). The primary aim of tort law is to provide relief for the damages incurred and deter others from committing the same harms, sometimes referred to as tortious conduct. A successful plaintiff  may recover loss of earnings capacity, pain and suffering, reasonable medical expenses, present and future expected losses, and other monetary relief for foreseeable harm suffered by the wrongful act.

Some of the types of torts include trespass, assault, battery, negligence, products liability, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Torts fall into three general categories: intentional torts, negligent torts, and strict liability torts. Intentional torts are those wrongs which the defendant knew or should have known would occur through their actions or inactions. Some intentional torts may also be crimes, such as assault, battery, wrongful death, fraud, conversion, and trespass on property and form the basis for a lawsuit for damages by the injured party. Negligent torts occur when the defendant's failure to use reasonable care cause harm.  Strict liability wrongs do not depend on the exercise of care by the defendant, but are established when a particular action causes damage.