A tort, in common law jurisdictions, is considered a civil wrong that causes someone else to suffer loss or harm resulting in legal liability for the person who commits the tortious act. In other words, it’s a wrongful act, not including a breach of contract or trust, that results in injury to another’s person, property, reputation, or the like, and for which the injured party is entitled to compensation. As a result of the wrongdoing, the injured person may take civil action against the other party. Although crimes may be torts, the cause of legal action is not always a crime, since the harm may be due to negligence which does not equate to criminal negligence. Legal injuries are not limited to physical injuries and may include emotional, economic, or reputational injuries as well as violations property or constitutional rights. Since torts are a civil action involving private parties, punishment does not always include a fine or incarceration. The punishment for tortious acts usually involves restoring the injured party monetarily.

Though many torts happen to be the result of negligence, tort law also recognizes intentional torts, where a person has intentionally acted in a way that harms another.