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What is a Tortfeasor?

There are a lot of old-fashioned words in legal language that sound stranger than their actual meaning. One of these words is “tortfeasor.” 

The person, business, or party who harmed the victim, whether on purpose or not, is called the tortfeasor. The tortfeasor can be held liable for the costs and damage they caused.

Most of the time, the tortfeasor is the same as the defendant in your case. This is the person or group you are suing for financial compensation. A Georgia personal injury lawyer can help you obtain money from the person who hurt you or the tortfeasor.

Where Did the Word "Tortfeasor" Come From?

Tort law, which is sometimes interchangeable with personal injury law, is a legal term for any situation in which one person or group causes another person or group harm or loss. 

“Tort” comes from the French word meaning “wrong.” “Feasor” comes from the French word meaning “doer.” So when you put them together, you get “tortfeasor,” meaning “wrongdoer.”

But don’t take this translation too literally. Most of the time, people sued for personal injuries are not bad or even criminals. They may have caused an accident because they were careless. Even if a tortfeasor didn’t intend to hurt anyone, they are still responsible for the harm they caused.

Criminals can also be held responsible as tortfeasors. If someone attacked you and robbed you, they are responsible for the cost of your injuries. Therefore, you can press criminal charges against them and file an injury claim.

What Qualifies as "Tortfeasance"?

Most personal injury cases come down to the question of negligence and whether or not someone did something wrong (tortfeasance) and is responsible for the damages. Most of the time, if a person or company was negligent and the negligence caused injuries or damages, you have a valid tort and can hold them responsible.

An example of this could be a slip and fall accident. Let’s say you walk into a convenience store and slip on a drink someone spilled. 

You try to catch yourself with your arm as you fall, but you break your wrist. Is the convenience store to blame? Usually.

If you spilled the drink yourself and then slipped on it, there is no tort because the store didn’t do anything wrong. If the spilled drink was already on the floor when you walked in, and the store didn’t do anything to clean it up, mark it with a cone, or close the aisle, that’s negligence.

Can Multiple Parties Be Liable for the Same Wrongdoing?

Yes. Let’s say you’re driving down the road, and a deer runs in front of your car. You do the right thing and slow down to avoid hitting the deer. But the person behind you was following too close and didn’t have enough time to stop. They rear-end you and cause significant injuries. 

Since they caused the accident, they are the tortfeasor. But our story doesn’t end there. The driver of the car behind them wasn’t paying attention. The third car doesn’t brake at all and crashes into the vehicle that hit you. The second high-speed crash adds to the injuries you’ve already obtained. The second driver is also a tortfeasor. 

In Georgia, you have the right to sue both tortfeasors for financial compensation. First, your car accident lawyer will evaluate your injuries and other damages and determine their value. Cases such as these can be complicated since there are multiple parties involved, which is why it is important to hire a personal injury lawyer to help.

Your attorney will go after the driver who was most at fault for the motor vehicle accident for compensation. If both drivers were at fault, your recovery costs might be split between their insurance policies.

Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers at The Brown Firm

If you have been injured in an accident, the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Brown Firm offer free consultations to accident victims in Georgia and South Carolina. Call 800-529-1441 to speak with our personal injury team today!

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