Intentional torts are those unlawful actions that are committed intentionally, rather than negligently. Intentional torts are civil causes of action, but many times the allegations also include criminal violations for the same offense. Intentional torts include misconduct such as defamation, slander and libel, domestic abuse, sexual abuse, battery, and fraud.
For instance, defamation is when:
- a false statement was made about the plaintiff;
- the false statement was communicated to a third party without the permission of the plaintiff;
- the defendant knew that the statement was false and/or lacked a reasonable belief that it was true; and
- the communication of the false statement damaged the plaintiff.
Under Illinois law, certain statements are considered to be so egregious that they will amount to defamation per se and the plaintiff does not need to prove that he or she was actually harmed by the statement. Examples of such statements include accusations that the plaintiff committed a crime; indications that the plaintiff is infected with a loathsome communicable disease; accusations that the plaintiff is unable to perform his or her job, or accusations of adultery.
Unlike those personal injury lawsuits that involve negligence, recovery for intentional torts may also include punitive damages in addition to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Punitive damages are meant to punish defendants for their intentional misconduct and serve as a deterrent to future misconduct.
There are strict statutes of limitation, or time limits, on when a person can file a lawsuit for defamation or other intentional tort. Accordingly, if you have been the victim of defamation or other intentional tort, it is important that you promptly consult with an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney. At Ankin Law Office, LLC, our Chicago intentional tort lawyers have handled countless tort lawsuits, including those involving negligence, strict liability, and intentional torts.
Contact one of our Chicago intentional tort attorneys at (312) 600-0000 to learn more about how we can help you pursue your defamation or other intentional tort claim.