You don't have to be physically injured by another person's actions to sue them for personal injury damages—even injury to your finances or reputation can trigger such lawsuits. Here are four examples of intentional torts that don't involve actual physical harm, but can trigger personal injury claims.
A conversion occurs when someone uses your property without consent or denies you use of your property. As you can see, it doesn't involve obvious injury to you, but you can still claim damages for it. A conversion claim applies as long as the perpetrator knew what they were doing.
Here are a few examples of conversion cases:
- A colleague borrows your car for a weekend trip and refuses to return it
- A relative occupies your vacation rental and refuses to leave
- A neighbor asks for use of your swimming pool (say it needs repairs), and when you refuse, they use it anyway when you are away
A trespassing incident occurs when someone or their property intentionally enters your property without your permission. The mere entry is enough to trigger trespassing claims even if it doesn't result in actual physical damages or injuries. You can claim damages related to emotional distress, loss of market value, and restoration expenses, among other things. Examples of trespassing actions include:
- A neighbor parking in your driveway without consent
- A school bus passing through your land without your consent
- Neighborhood kids swimming in your pool without your permission
Fraud occurs when someone intentionally lies to you with the aim of making you act in a certain way that benefits them or causes you injury damage. Fraud can also occur when someone intentionally fails to disclose to you certain information, and the nondisclosure benefits them or causes you an injury or financial loss. Here are some examples of fraud:
- A homeowner sells you a property that is mold-infested but fails to disclose the infestation to you
- A farmer lies to you that they can sell you four tons of oranges, whereas they know they can only supply one ton
- An auto mechanic lies to you that the brake discs they are installing on your car are OEM (original equipment manufacturer) when they are actually aftermarket pads
The fourth example is that of defamation, which occurs when someone intentionally publishes untrue information against you, and the publication causes you harm in one way or another. Here are a few examples of defamation:
- A blogger accuses you of cheating on your spouse when the truth is that you haven't been unfaithful
- A local newspaper accuses you of misappropriating your homeowner's association funds when the fact is that the funds were used as determined by the HOA management
- A colleague shares a social media post depicting you as a racist without any basis for their claims
If any of these situations have happened to you, contact a law firm like Radano & Lide.