Most Common Intentional Torts

Under tort law, seven intentional torts exist. Four of them are personal: assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and false imprisonment. The other three are trespass to chattels, trespass to property, and conversion. The most common intentional torts for which people contact an attorney are battery, assault, and trespass to property. If you have been the victim of these common torts, please use this form to contact an intentional tort attorney for a free case evaluation.


Battery is when someone intentionally touches you. This includes poisoning food or throwing something at the plaintiff, which doesn’t require physical touching. Because battery is an intentional tort, no harm needs to be done. For example, if someone punches you, that is considered a harmful or offensive action even if you didn’t suffer any injury from it.


Assault is when someone creates immediate apprehension of an offensive or harmful touching. You often hear the terms "assault" and "battery" used together or assumed to have the same meaning. However, they have different definitions. An example of assault is throwing a punch and missing the target — the assailant is creating the expectation of harm. If the punch connects, the law considers that situation to be battery.

Trespass to Land

Trespass to land is when someone invades your property and things attached to your land, including buildings, trees, improvements, and fixtures. Even putting a foot on your property is trespass if the defendant knows they're not supposed to be on the property and goes on it anyway. As with other intentional torts, the defendant does not have to damage the property to be sued for trespass.

False Imprisonment

When you are falsely imprisoned, you are held against your will by force, the threat of force or are illegally held by authorities. An example of false imprisonment includes pointing a gun at someone and saying, “If you move, I’ll shoot.” Locking someone in a room and providing no means of exit is also false imprisonment.

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

This tort is often referred to as “outrage.” The behavior of the defendant is so crazy that it causes you emotional distress. For this to be tortious, the behavior must be outrageous, such as telling someone a loved one is dead when that person is actually alive and well. The mental distress must also be severe. While physical effects are not required, it is helpful in proving the severity of the emotional distress. Types of physical effects might include tooth-grinding damage or cardiac issues. This is the only tort where intent is not required and recklessness is enough.

Trespass to Chattels

Chattels are anything that is movable, such as a car, computer, animal, or clothing. If it’s not real property, it’s chattel. The tort requires that the defendant “substantially interferes” with the plaintiff’s chattel. Interfering is not just touching the person’s property. Neither is substantially using it. However, damage to the property is interference and considered trespass to chattel.


Conversion is interfering with chattel so severely that the interference forces the plaintiff to sell the chattel to the defendant. An example of conversion is stealing your car, jamming the gas pedal, and running it off a cliff. The plaintiff could have gotten market value before the vehicle was taken but not afterward — and the defendant takes title to the wreck.

Contact an Intentional Torts Attorney

Intentional torts are serious. If you are the victim of an intentional tort, it’s important to contact Morgan & Morgan. If we move forward with your case, we’ll assign you a team of lawyers and legal professionals who focus on these cases to help navigate your claim from start to finish. We never charge by the hour, meaning you pay us only if we win. More than 100,000 clients trust us nationwide, and we’ve recovered billions on their behalf. Fill out a free case evaluation and join the Morgan & Morgan family today.


" They really care, know what they are doing and treat you as though you are their only client! "

~ Robert

Insurance Offer$200,000
turned into
What we got $1,200,000
" Made this difficult legal matter as painless as possible and helped lead us to victory. "

~ Catherine

Insurance Offer$60,000
turned into
What we got $1,050,000
" Outstanding firm that has their clients interest at heart. "

~ Derrick

Insurance Offer$200,000
turned into
What we got $3,500,000
" They really set the bar high...I highly recommend. "

~ Carole

Insurance Offer$5,000
turned into
What we got $2,000,000
" They made everything hassle free, which is exactly what I needed in my busy life. "

~ Smith

Insurance Offer$5,000
turned into
What we got $367,000
" Helped me every step of the way! "

~ Pappadakis

Insurance Offer$100,000
turned into
What we got $2,602,150

Offices near You

Panama City
1022 W. 23rd St., Suite 630 32405
101 Riverfront Blvd, Suite 600 34205
4495 South Semoran Boulevard, 32807
5801 West Colonial, 32808
500A Northside Crossing, Suite 9 31210
170 Meeting Street, Suite 110 29401
777 Gloucester Street, Suite 400 31520
402 South Kentucky Avenue, Suite 402 33801
222 Capitol Street, Suite 200A 25301
20 NW Third Street, Suite 940 47708

Current call wait: 8 seconds

Client Testimonial Videos

Free Most Common Intentional Torts Case Review

Share your experience and we will call you

or Call Now

By submitting you agree to our Terms & Privacy Policy.