What Is Intentional Injury and How Does It Differ From Negligence in Personal Injury?

When most people think of personal injury claims, they think of product liability claims, motor vehicle accident claims, slip-and-fall claims, medical malpractice claims and dog bite claims. In short, these injuries happen when someone fails to do something that they have a duty to do to protect others from injury.

While the majority of personal injury claims are based on the legal principle of negligence, there are instances where an injury is not caused by negligence but intent. Intentional injury claims are different from negligence claims in many ways. Those who intentionally injure others are criminally prosecuted whereas the majority of negligent actions do not rise to the level of crimes that fit the criminal laws. For individuals who are injured as a result of someone else’s intentional harm, there are ways in civil court for injured parties to seek restitution. We discuss these below.

Negligence vs. Intentional Harm

A negligent person is, as far as the law is concerned, someone who fails to act in a way that a reasonable person would; the actions (and/or inactions) of negligent individuals can result in serious harm to others. Those who act to intentionally harm others are not negligent in the eyes of the legal system, for they possess intent to cause harm with their actions (and/or inactions).

Options Available for Individuals Injured by Another’s Intentional Action (or Inaction)

In most intentional injury cases, injured parties do not have an easy time of securing compensation for their injuries. This is largely because most defendants do not have the personal resources or insurance to cover the cost of compensation. While those who bring intentional harm claims are often in for a complex legal dispute, there are qualified attorneys who specialize in securing awards for individuals injured by intentional action and/or inaction.

An intentional injury attorney, one who has a wealth of experience in dealing with such cases, will have access to the tools, experts, and resources necessary to secure compensation for their clients. This is, in large part, why the majority of intentional injury victims hire attorneys when they want just compensation for injuries suffered at the hands of another.

Identifying a Negligent Party and/or Third-Party Negligence

Negligence and intent can both be present in some unique cases. But in the majority of cases it is clearly established whether negligence or intent is what caused the injury in question. In most intentional injury claims, it is the person who directly committed the intentional offense who is held liable. 

There is also what’s known as third-party liability; an example of a liable third party could be a property owner who, because of a failure to install and/or maintain adequate security, lets one of his/her tenants get assaulted and seriously injured by someone while on the premises.

Intentional Injury Claims and the Elderly

Intentional abuse or mistreatment at institutions is also unfortunately common. Sexual assault and physical abuse at nursing homes, for example, often center on the intentional misconduct of employees. With such cases, a civil suit may still be appropriate; one may implicate the owners of the facility for their negligence in allowing poor hiring practices and/or oversight of employees.Have questions about intentional injury? Looking for an attorney that can help you? Contact our team at Sandberg Law Firm online or by calling (507) 282-3521.