Difference between Tort and Contract

Civil law is practised to uphold the individual’s private right and find suitable remedies for the violated rights. Civil law is classified into Contract, Tort, and Family Law. Criminal law is laws or rules created for the protection of the public against potentially serious crimes. Criminal offences are considered offences against the public. Criminal cases are punished by ordering fines, imprisonments or rehabilitation of the guilty or even death sentences. Criminal cases are always filed by the government as it is a crime against the public as a whole. 

 A tort is when a person defers from the conventional conduct and causes a disturbance or harms another person which leads to a civil action against the person causing the nuisance filed by the person who has been harmed.  There is a clear difference between tort and contract. The contract is understood as a legally binding document between two or more parties that consent and are obliged to follow the terms of the agreement.

 Contract law is rules are applied when two or more parties agree to enter into an agreement or contract; all parties in the agreement are required to respect the terms of the agreement. Any parties found to have broken the terms of the contract then they have committed a civil wrong and broken the contract. Whereas a tort is committed with or without the consent of the person. A tort is a duty that is imposed on the citizens. Thus it is a private right of an individual right of a person. A tort is a violation of a right in rem of a person which means that the right is available for the whole world. A contract is where two or more parties voluntarily sign a contract and are obliged to follow the terms of the contract. Any party who breaks any terms of the contract will be held guilty. A contract is the violation of a right in personam; the right is only available against a particular person or body. 

  1. The first area of differentiation between tort and contract is seen in the consideration of consent. A contract is signed willfully by the parties and the parties mutually consent to respect the terms of the case. An act of tort is committed with or without the consent of the other person or party. 
  • Tort arises from the rules and duties vested in man by law whereas contract occurs when the parties form rules created out of the contract. 
  • A tort is a violation of a right in rem of a person which means that the right is available for the whole world. A contract is the violation of a right in personam; the right is only available against a particular person or body
  • A contract cannot be signed by a minor and any contract signed by a minor is considered as invalid. A minority in age is considered as a good defence against the contract. In tort, a minor can be held responsible for the tort and can be made to pay for damages.
  • In tort, the motive for breach of duty is considered as immaterial and cannot be used as a defence. In contract, the motive is considered. If the person violates the contract in good faith, then the plaintiff is not liable.
  • The damages in tort are unliquidated and fixed after seeing the facts and situations of the case. The compensation in the contract is already determined by the terms and conditions of the contract.
  • The damages in a contract are compensatory in nature whereas in tort they are compensatory as well as punishing in nature 
  • The period of limitation in case of torts usually runs from the date when the damage is suffered and in the contract, the limitation starts from the breach of the contract 

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