Legal Homophones: Tort vs. Torte

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The E Makes it Sweet

Welcome to the first installment of our new weekly series on legal terminology.  How often have you read a document written by lawyers and thought – What are they trying to say? Why don’t they just use English!  Our hope is these vignettes will shine an entertaining light on what is often called legal jargon or just plain hogwash!  So the next time you are faced with deciphering a legal document filled with words rooted in Latin, you will be better prepared to understand and appropriately respond.

Our word this week is Tort.  It should not be confused with the delectable French pastry with a similar name.  A tort is anything but sweet.  The word tort comes from the Latin term torquere, which means “twisted or wrong.”[1] If you are served with a lawsuit for a tort, your first reaction may be chocolate-cake-1400632_640“twisted” and you immediately conclude this is “wrong”.  Once you regain your calm, your first call should be to your attorney.

A tort is a legal action where a person or business has suffered harm as a result of the unreasonable actions of another person or business.  The injured person then sues to recover damages, aka money.  The most common example of a tort is an automobile accident.

Torts like their homophone cousin come in many flavors.  There are negligent torts, intentional torts, economic torts, Federal Tort Claims, strict liability torts and many other flavors.  If you are injured as the result of someone else’s negligence, consult an attorney to determine your legal options under the tort related laws.

Used in a Sentence:

After Jessica, a young tort lawyer, won her first automobile accident jury trial, she went out to Martha’s bakery to celebrate with a raspberry torte. 

When you need help with a personal injury case in Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, Dinwiddie, Fort Lee, Hopewell, Petersburg, Prince George, or Sussex. Give us a call at (804) 668-5327 and schedule a consultation to discuss your troubles in more detail.

**This material is for Information Purposes ONLY and should not be construed as legal advice and does NOT create a legal relationship with Paul Perdue Attorneys PLLC.

[1] http://www.dictionary.com/browse/tort