accidents & injuries (tort law)

Compensatory Damages

See Actual damages.

Consequential Damages

Damages suffered because of the injured party's particular circumstances. Also called special damages, since they result from a breach of contract and yet would not necessarily be incurred by every injured party experiencing that breach....

Constitutional Tort

A constitutional tort is a violation of one’s constitutional rights by a government employee. The alleged constitutional violation creates a cause of action that is distinct from any otherwise available state tort remedy. “Constitutional tort...

Consumer Expectations Test

In a products liability tort case, a standard used for determining if a design defect exists. The consumer expectation test makes the seller of a product liable if the product is in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to the consumer. The...

Contingent Fee

See contingency fee.

Continuing Trespass

A repeated or ongoing (not one-time) trespass (unlawful entry or possession), especially onto real property. For example, building a road or structure that extends onto a neighbor's property, or piling up rocks or garbage there, would be a continuing...

Contract of Adhesion

See Adhesion contract.

Contributory Negligence

A common law tort rule, abolished in most jurisdictions. Under contributory negligence, a plaintiff was totally barred from recovery if they were in any way negligent in causing the accident, even if the negligence of the defendant was much more serious...


A tort. An intention act by a defendant causing the serious and substantial interference with or the destruction of the chattel of the defendant.


Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryIn a civil case, each separate statement in the complaint that, standing alone, would support a lawsuit. For example, a complaint might begin with a "first count" for negligence, with detailed factual...