Liability for Intentionally Caused Injuries

Accidents happen all the time. In Florida, people are seriously hurt and killed in accidents on a daily basis like in any other state. No matter whatever is the cause of the accident, the outcome is often grotesque. There are significant medical costs, lost income, out of pocket expenses and pain and suffering that often follow an accident. Certain times an accident does not involve anyone at fault. But, most of the times, someone is legally responsible for the injuries. A person is liable for someone else’s injuries when the person was legally negligent or committed an intentional tort against the victim.

For the purpose of finding someone liable for negligence, the injured party or his or her survivors must prove the following:

  • The defendant owed the injured party a duty of care.
  • The defendant breached the duty of care by failing to act like a reasonable person would act in the circumstances that resulted in the accident;
  • The defendant’s breach of the duty of care caused the injuries which would not have happened but for the defendant’s conduct; and
  • The plaintiff is entitled to damages because the above elements of negligence have been satisfied.

There are certain Lawsuits that involve common accidents like motor vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, and medical malpractice are often brought on the basis of alleged negligence.

Intentional torts are pretty different from negligence. This is because, by definition, they require the tortfeasor to act with the deliberate intent to cause injury. Some of the common examples of intentional torts are assault, battery, false imprisonment, trespass, libel, slander and the intentional infliction of emotional distress. The elements of each of these torts are different. However, all of them require the plaintiff to prove that the defendant acted with deliberate intent to cause harm.

It is true that a plaintiff might request that a court find a defendant liable for injuries caused due to negligence or an intentional tort. However, the plaintiff is not likely to recover damages unless the plaintiff can prove all of the elements of his or her case. The plaintiff’s attorney is bound to obtain evidence during the discovery phase of the lawsuit through means of depositions, interrogatories, and requests for production of documents.The attorney then uses these pieces of evidence to present to the court at trial or to the other party in settlement negotiations.

The amount of a defendant’s potential liability is based on the evidence that is admissible in court and on the extent of the injuries. In general, if a plaintiff is successful at trial or the defendant agrees to settle the case prior to a verdict being reached then the plaintiff is entitled to compensation for economic losses such as medical bills, rehabilitation costs and lost income and non-economic losses like pain and suffering that were caused by the defendant.

When you or a loved one, has been injured and you believe that your injuries were caused by someone else then you have legal rights to protect and you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Injuries cost money. Also, these are time-consuming. You need to take time away from work, medical bills, and other complications. You ought to have an attorney help you with your claim. Make sure to speak to a local personal injury attorney about the merits of your case. This single step can help you protect your rights and take the proper next steps.

A general liability policy is not inclusive of any intentional acts. However, physical Injury and Property Damage Liability usually excludes intentional injury. An exclusion entitled Expected or Intended Injury eliminates coverage for injury or damage.This kind of damage is inflicted on someone willfully.

Injury caused Accidentally

Physical Injury and Property Damage Liability is designed to cover accidental events. Coverage A is applicable to claims or suits against an insured for bodily injury or property damage. In order to cover a claim, the injury or damage needs to be caused by an occurrence. This implies that this kind of injury must have resulted from a fortuitous event.

Expected or Intended Injury
The expected or intended injury exclusion usually appears in the first paragraph in the Exclusions section under Coverage A. This does not include any bodily or property damage that is expected or intended from the standpoint of the insured. Its main objective is to prevent someone from gathering insurance coverage for injury or damage that person caused intentionally.

Standpoint of the Insured
The expected or intended injury exclusion is applicable to injury or damage that is expected or intended from the standpoint of the insured. "The insured" usually refers to the insured named in a claim or suit. The exclusion applies to injury or damage that was expected or intended by someone.

An insured might even be sued due to injury or damage that was intentionally committed by another insured.

Exception to the protection of people or property
There is an exception to the expected or intended injury exclusion. Coverage is given to bodily injury that is caused by the use of reasonable force to protect persons or property. This means that the policy covers an injury inflicted intentionally by an insured on a third party if the injury resulted from an attempt by the insured to protect people or property.

The reasonableness of the force used by an insured can be debatable. In case an insurer and a policyholder are unable to agree whether force was reasonable, a court will make that decision.

The exception to the expected or intended injury exclusion is applicable to bodily injury only as per the standard ISO general liability policy. However, a majority of insurers will extend the exception to cover property damage as well. This extension is usually provided for little or no additional premium.

As far as Liability policies are concerned, they do not define the words expected or intended, and courts interpret these terms in various ways. Courts in different states might not apply the expected or intended injury exclusion in the same manner.

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