In the State of Florida, Title XLV sets forth the rules for torts. A tort is a breach of a legal duty, which causes damage and which can result in a civil action, such as a personal injury lawsuit. Tort law covers actions and omissions which cause damage to people or property. Tort cases can arise from intentional wrongful acts, such as assault or battery, or from negligent wrongful acts such as failure to exercise reasonable caution when operating a motor vehicle.
For example, a doctor has a duty to provide reasonable care to patients. If a doctor negligently and carelessly provides substandard care, resulting in damage to a patient, the patient or his family could pursue a civil case for compensation. This case would be considered a tort case.
Chapters 766-774 of the Florida Statutes set forth the rules and requirements for various types of torts. Chapter 766 explains when doctors can be sued for medical malpractice. Chapter 767 explains cases arising from damage caused by dogs. Chapter 768 explains negligence torts. Chapters 769 sets forth special rules for hazardous occupations. Chapter 770 details the process of making libel claims, and Chapter 772 provides details on civil or tort remedies for criminal practices.
Tort law provides the opportunity for a private person or company to seek a legal remedy against another private person, company, or government agency. Tort law is distinct from criminal law, as a tort case is initiated by a private plaintiff rather than by the state. The burden of proof in a tort claim is lower than the burden of proof in a criminal case, and plaintiffs in tort cases usually — but not always — seek monetary relief for the damages resulting from a failure to fulfill a legal obligation.