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What Are Intentional Tort Cases?

What Are Intentional Tort Cases?

When most people think of personal injury cases, they think of car accidents, motorcycle crashes, and other types of injuries caused by another person’s negligence. But if someone intentionally hurt you, the law says you deserve the same legal help and compensation as someone who was harmed by an accident.

If someone’s intentional actions hurt you physically, emotionally, or through other means, you have legal options. If you find yourself in this situation, you may be eligible to file an intentional tort claim.

What Is a Tort?

“Tort” is a legal term that means a wrongful action (or, sometimes, a failure to act) that causes harm to another person. However, not just any type of wrongful act amounts to a tort; the act must be a civil wrong under the law.

For example, being rude to someone is an act most people would consider wrong, but it’s not a tort because there’s no law against rudeness — which means you can’t file an insurance claim or lawsuit over it. However, punching someone in the face is a tort because there are laws against physical battery.

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Understanding Different Types of Intentional Tort Cases

Intentional tort cases happen when one person harms another on purpose. These cases are different than other types of personal injury cases, which mainly deal with how reckless or negligent actions caused a victim harm. In intentional tort cases, someone deliberately hurt you or a loved one.

Types of acts that may lead to intentional torts cases include:

  • Assault and battery
  • Wrongful imprisonment
  • Trespassing
  • False imprisonment
  • Fraud, deceit, or false statement
  • Defamation
  • Conversion (taking or using someone’s property without their consent)
  • Severe emotional distress


How Intentional Tort Cases Differ From Criminal Prosecution

Many people don’t understand the difference between civil cases and criminal cases. When someone commits a criminal action that harms you, the state will prosecute that person to punish them for their actions. The process of criminal prosecution may give you a sense of closure and justice if it succeeds, but it won’t necessarily provide you any financial compensation to help recover from your injuries — unless the court also orders restitution. And even if restitution is ordered, you may not get full compensation. To ensure full compensation, you’ll need to pursue a civil case against the person who hurt you.

Intentional tort claims are a type of civil claim, so they can provide financial compensation for injuries. One mistake many victims make is waiting until the criminal trial is over to pursue their intentional tort case. Not only does this delay the civil legal process, but it can also cause the statute of limitations to expire for your civil case. The criminal and civil cases for an intentional tort can and often do unfold at the same time, so there’s no reason to wait to contact an attorney and get the civil case moving.

The Biggest Consideration in Intentional Tort Civil Claims

The point of filing a civil claim for an intentional tort is to seek money damages that will compensate you for your injuries. Before you file a claim, you need to make sure the potential defendant has money or assets to pay a judgment. Unfortunately, insurance coverage rarely applies to intentional torts. So, you don’t want to pursue a civil claim and spend lots of time and money, only to get a result that’s worthless — and if there’s no insurance coverage and the defendant has no money or assets, that’s exactly what will happen. To avoid wasting your time, you should work with an experienced attorney who can investigate the claim and look for assets or potential insurance coverage.

Domestic Violence Is a Type of Intentional Tort That’s All Too Common

Domestic violence cases exist at the intersection of family law and intentional tort cases. Many domestic violence cases involve intentional torts like assault, wrongful imprisonment, and severe emotional distress. If you and your family have been suffering because of someone else’s abusive behavior, you need an attorney on your side who can help you put your life back together, get justice, and find peace. This process may include filing for a domestic violence protective order, taking urgent measures to make sure your children are safe, and initiating the divorce process and related legal claims.

At Myers Law Firm, we have years of experience handling intentional tort and family law cases, and we’ve successfully secured compensation and justice for victims of domestic violence. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you are in trouble and need help.

RELATED: What Is Negligence? Here’s a Definition You Can Understand

Did Someone Intentionally Harm You in Charlotte, North Carolina? Don’t Wait to Contact Myers Law Firm

At Myers Law Firm, we take our responsibility to represent injured victims seriously. If you were victimized and need help finding justice and closure, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our experienced team of personal injury lawyers and family law attorneys has decades of experience helping victims like you fight back and recover.

To schedule your initial consultation with an attorney from the Myers Law Firm team, fill out our quick online contact form or call us at 888-376-2889. We look forward to hearing from you.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a serious matter, and it rarely looks like what you see in most movies and TV shows. The abuse often starts small and gets worse as the abuser exerts more and more control over the victim’s life. Victims often feel trapped in their situations for reasons like concern over their children’s well-being, lack of access to money and other resources, and the fear of worse abuse and violence if they try to leave.

No matter how bad your situation has gotten, there is a way out, and an experienced lawyer can help you take the first step.

In this article, we’ll discuss how North Carolina law treats domestic violence and explain how an attorney can help if you or someone you love is suffering due to domestic violence.

What Constitutes Domestic Violence in North Carolina?

Domestic violence is a criminal act that carries serious consequences. Accusations and charges of domestic violence can ruin a person’s career and relationships and take away their freedom, which is why every allegation of domestic violence needs to be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.

Advocacy organizations for victims of domestic violence have raised awareness about the various types of abuse that often accompany physical violence or the threat of it, and victims now have more resources than ever.

However, one effect of this increased awareness is that people sometimes equate acts like verbal abuse and financial abuse (taking over the victim’s finances to exert control) with domestic violence. These types of abuse often accompany domestic violence and can inflict plenty of harm. However, verbal abuse and other controlling behaviors, by themselves, don’t necessarily meet the definition of domestic violence under North Carolina law.

According to the laws in North Carolina, domestic violence occurs when someone has a personal relationship with another person and commits any of the following acts against that person or their child:

  • Intentionally causing bodily injury or attempting to do so
  • Committing any sexual offense, including rape
  • Threatening serious bodily harm or creating the fear of such harm
  • Engaging in harassment to the point that it causes substantial emotional distress

It’s important to note that while North Carolina’s definition of domestic violence centers around acts of physical violence, non-physical acts can meet the definition too, especially if they create a substantial threat or fear of physical violence.

Domestic violence requires the existence of a personal relationship between the perpetrator and the victim. North Carolina considers a relationship personal when the people involved:

  • Are current or former spouses
  • Are currently in a romantic relationship or were in the past
  • Currently live together or did in the past
  • Are related as parent and child or as grandparent and grandchild
  • Have a child in common
  • Are members of the same household or were at one time

RELATED BLOG ARTICLE: Can I Prevent My Spouse From Seeing the Children During a Divorce?

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What Can a Lawyer Do to Help Domestic Violence Victims?

If you’re not sure whether what you’re going through is considered domestic violence according to the law, that’s understandable. The law can be confusing, which is why you should contact an experienced domestic violence attorney for confidential advice about your unique situation and your legal options. A good attorney will take any domestic violence allegation seriously, and they’ll listen to your story without judging you or exposing you to more risk.

While you can attempt to represent yourself in a domestic violence case, the legal process is complicated and requires years of study to understand. If you make a mistake or forget to include something important and your petition gets denied, your partner or spouse will most likely find out what happened, and you won’t have a court order protecting you from them.

If you file a complaint for domestic violence, you can benefit from powerful legal protections.

  • Get an Emergency Protection Order in Place
    Victims of domestic violence can file a Complaint for a Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO), which is also commonly called a restraining order. A DVPO can prohibit an abuser from contacting you, coming within a certain distance of you, sharing a home with you, and possessing firearms.
  • Get an Ex Parte Temporary Order
    You can also request an “ex parte” temporary order. This order occurs before the alleged abuser is served with the lawsuit, which means you provide testimony to a magistrate or judge without the alleged abuser being present. This order is only valid for up to 10 days. Someone will need to serve the alleged abuser with the complaint and the ex parte order (usually the sheriff will handle this).
  • One-Year Protective Order
    Emergency protection orders only last for a maximum of 10 days. Within the 10 days, the court will schedule a hearing for a one-year protective order. If the alleged abuser has been served with the lawsuit, they may appear at the hearing. At this hearing, both sides can present evidence and be heard by the judge. If the judge agrees that domestic violence occurred, they’ll enter a one-year protective order.
  • File for Custody or Financial Support
    If the perpetrator is your spouse, a domestic violence attorney can help you start the divorce process, which will include addressing related legal matters like your right to spousal support, your share of marital property, and child custody.
  • File an Injury Lawsuit
    A lawsuit for assault or personal injury can help you recover financial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other financial losses that an abuser caused through domestic violence.

What the Domestic Violence Petition Process Looks Like in North Carolina

Most of the time, victims file domestic violence complaints after a violent incident and without an attorney. However, you can work with an attorney to file a complaint. In general, you can expect the process to unfold as follows:

1. You’ll file a domestic violence complaint and receive a hearing in front of a magistrate or judge without the other party present.

2. If the judge finds that domestic violence has occurred, they will issue a temporary protection order.

3. The court will schedule a hearing within 10 days and the alleged abuser will be served.

4. At the 10-day hearing, the alleged abuser may appear. The judge will hear evidence from you and the alleged abuser. If the judge finds that you have proven your case, they’ll enter a protective order that lasts for one year.

5. Meanwhile, you and your attorney will begin to work on any other legal matters, like divorce or a domestic violence lawsuit.

RELATED BLOG ARTICLE: Answers to 10 Frequently Asked Questions About North Carolina Divorce

Additional Resources for Domestic Violence Victims

If you or someone you love is suffering because of domestic violence in or around Charlotte, North Carolina, don’t wait any longer to get help — contact Myers Law Firm. We’ll listen to your story with compassion while moving with the urgency and aggressiveness required to make sure you and your children get into a safe and stable situation.

If you’re not ready to contact a lawyer, other resources may be able to provide some assistance. If someone has subjected you to physical violence or threats of violence, you should call the police immediately. However, if you’re not prepared to take that step, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit their website for additional resources. In addition, the North Carolina Department of Justice hosts a library of online resources for domestic violence victims and their loved ones.

Myers Law Firm: Advocates for Domestic Violence Victims in Charlotte and Throughout Mecklenburg County

If you’ve been the victim of domestic violence, it’s very important to get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible so you can protect yourself, your children, and your loved ones from further harm. At Myers Law Firm, our attorneys have experience helping victims of domestic violence in Mecklenburg County, and we can listen to your story, explain your rights, and discuss your legal options, including the option to file for an injunction that can put a stop to abuse immediately.

For more information about how our experienced family law attorneys can help you, schedule your initial consultation by filling out our convenient online contact form or calling our Charlotte office toll-free at (888) 376-ATTY (2889).


Domestic violence. N.C. Stat. § 50B-1. Retrieved from


The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Contact Myers Law Firm

We are committed to continuing to serve our clients’ legal needs

Single Divider

We are able to meet with clients and hold consultations with prospective clients via telephone or video conference. If you need to contact us, please do not hesitate; we are happy to speak with you about your situation, your needs, and how we can help.

Schedule Your Consultation Now!

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Foster Care Children's Bill of Rights

This is Part 2 of a recent article that I wrote for the NCAJ Trial Briefs magazine regarding recent laws passed by the North Carolina General Assembly which affect family law and divorce issues.