Can I file a personal injury suit against someone who hurt me on purpose?

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Most personal injury cases are based on “negligence,” meaning that the injured party was hurt through the “negligence” of the other party. What are your legal options when someone has injured you intentionally? You will need an experienced personal injury attorney to help you pursue your personal injury case, which falls under the legal category of “intentional torts.” While there is not a great deal of difference between negligence and intentional tort civil cases—you are claiming the same types of damages in both—you will need to prove certain things in your intentional tort lawsuit.


It is your and your attorney’s job to demonstrate that the person committing the intentional tort was responsible for his or her action and its consequences. Interestingly, that person does not have to have intended to harm you to be found liable of an intentional tort. We’ve all heard about instances where a well-intentioned person attempts to help someone, only to make matters worse, and, in case of harm or injury, that person can be liable for personal injury.


An article by the American Bar Association offers some examples of the kinds of cases that fall under intentional torts:

  • If a person believes an intruder into his home is about to attack him, he has the right to defend himself by injuring the intruder, and even to use deadly force to protect himself if he believes the intruder is about to seriously injure or kill him.
  • If a person breaks into a house, and the resident pursue the burglar, but catches and injures an innocent teenager running by in the dark, the pursuer may be held liable for the injury, because a person running away can be said to be no longer a danger to him.
  • If someone picks up a realistic toy or model of an AK-47 and points it at you out of the window of his car, under the law of intentional torts, scaring you may make him liable for an assault.
  • A man who set the broken arm of a woman who had fallen even though she protested was found liable for an intentional tort.
  • In a fistfight, both participants are considered to have “agreed” to be hit by each other. Only the specific circumstances of the fight, e.g., self-defense described by witnesses, can make an injury an intentional tort.


Richard Manger, principal of Manger Law Firm, has extensive experience in litigation and settlements, with a focus on personal injury and workers’ compensation law. We are proud of the strong relationships of loyalty and trust we develop with our clients. We go above and beyond to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. You can contact Richard Manger via email at, or by calling (336) 882-2000.

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