Negligence is called an unintentional tort because the defendant caused the plaintiff injury – – not because he intended to cause her injury – – but because he was careless.  That is, he either did something that a reasonably careful person would not do, or failed to take a precaution that a reasonable person would take to prevent causing harm to others.

We can divide torts into three main categories: intentional torts, unintentional torts (negligence), and strict liability torts.

Intentional Torts

Intentional torts are torts are where a person deliberately engages in an action and knows or recklessly disregards the likely consequences of his actions.  For example, battery is the tort of a harmful or offensive physical contact with someone.  A person who punches someone else without justification has committed the intentional tort of battery,


A defendant who was insufficiently careful may be liable for the tort of negligence.  For example, a driver who causes an accident because he did not drive carefully enough would be considered negligent.  He may not have intended to cause damage to someone else but his carelessness can result in liability.

Strict Liability

Strict liability means a defendant is liable regardless of how carefully he acted.  A company that produces a defective television that explodes and injures someone  may be held strictly liable regardless of how carefully the television was manufactured.

Below is a video on negligence:

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