A tort (from the old French for "wrong") is an act which arises as the result of a human agency (as opposed to an Act of God) that results in both an injury to a person (including an artificial person) or property and is recognized as actionable in a court of law. Such an act is "tortious". Not all acts that result in injury are tortious, such as a disclosure that damages reputation, but is true.

Torts fall into two general types:

  • Negligence, which is damage caused by an act or omission, where a duty of care is owed to the party suffering damages, where actual damage occurs and where the act or omission would not have been carried out by a person acting in a reasonable manner. Lawsuits that are framed in negligence can arise out of automobile accidents, professional malpractice, and failure to maintain property.