Not all personal injury claims are based on negligence. Some claims arise from intentional tort allegations, indicating that the at-fault party intentionally caused the injury, rather than neglectfully. In most intentional tort cases, criminal charges will also be filed. The state may bring a case against the at-fault party in criminal court, but you can still go to civil court to collect compensation for your injuries and damages.
Assault and Battery Claims
In North Carolina, assault is defined as any attempt to commit a battery or any show of force indicating that a battery is imminent. Words are not enough to constitute assault, but actions combined with words can constitute fault based on the following elements:
- The defendant acted in a way that created reasonable apprehension of immediate harm.
- The defendant intentionally brought about the apprehension of immediate harm.
- The plaintiff was in fact apprehensive due to this act.
North Carolina defines battery as any harmful or offensive contact with another party, without permission. There must be actual contact between the defendant and the plaintiff, whether the plaintiff was aware of the contact or not. The three elements of battery include:
- Any act which brings about harmful or offensive contact to plaintiff’s body
- Intentional harmful or offensive contact to plaintiff’s body
- Injury to plaintiff caused by contact
Assault and battery are frequently combined into one intentional tort case.
False Imprisonment Claims
Under North Carolina law, false imprisonment claims are viewed as lesser included offenses of kidnapping. The elements of false imprisonment are intentionally and unlawfully restraining or detaining someone without consent.
To collect on a false imprisonment intentional tort claim, you must demonstrate that the detainment was unlawful. Certain purposes and circumstances allow for lawful detainment, and if this is so, then you will not receive compensation for false imprisonment. If you do recover damages, then your physical and emotional pain and suffering will be considered.
Claims for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
North Carolina law allows for claims to be filed for intentional infliction of emotional distress when something substantial causes emotional trauma. The conduct must be extreme, outrageous, reckless, intentionally causes severe emotional distress.
You must begin by establishing that the act was outrageous, which must be more than insulting or obnoxious. Then, you have to prove that the act was an intentional attempt to cause emotional distress or that the act was reckless with knowledge that emotional distress would result. Finally, you have to demonstrate the severity of the emotional distress. Intense distress may show as anxiety, depression, paranoia, or post traumatic stress disorder.
Malicious Prosecution Claims
Under North Carolina law, it is considered malicious prosecution to wrongfully initiate criminal proceedings against someone. The person must have intentionally caused the criminal action, without probable cause, with some intent other than obtaining a legal judgment, and which was ultimately dismissed in court.
North Carolina defines defamation as intentionally defaming the name and reputation of the victim. Written defamation is known as libel, and verbal defamation is called slander. You must demonstrate that a defamatory statement was made, that the statement was false, and that the statement was published to a third party, causing injury to the plaintiff.
It is essential to prove that the defamatory statement was false. If the statement is true, then you cannot establish defamation. Further, if the statement was not made to a third party, it cannot be considered to be defamation.
In North Carolina, fraud is common. It is defined as an intentional and deliberate lie, relied upon by a third party, and causing tangible harm to the person who relied on the lie.
Claims for Trespass to Land or Chattels
North Carolina law defines trespassing as an intentional tort against property. Trespass to land involves intentionally intruding onto the real property of another without authorization, regardless of whether you had knowledge of trespassing. Trespass to chattel involves invading a person’s personal property, like damaging property or depriving the victim of possession of the property.
Conversion claims are filed when someone intentionally interferes with property rights of another. You must demonstrate that you owned a right of possession at the time of the intentional tort, that the defendant intentionally interfered with your right of ownership, that the interference deprived you of rightful possession and use, and that damage resulted.