Both Iowa and Illinois allow for an individual to bring a lawsuit against an intentional tortfeasor for any damages caused by the wrongdoer’s intentional actions. Intentional torts tend to involve behavior that is more egregious than simple negligence, as the tortfeasor in intentional tort claims intentionally does an act that causes harm to the Plaintiff. Intentional tort claims are also more difficult to prove, as the Plaintiff must show that the Defendant either acted with intent, or had knowledge to a substantial degree of certainty that their actions would result in damages and injury to the Plaintiff.
Common types of intentional torts include civil battery and assault, fraud, misrepresentation, slander, libel, false imprisonment, trespass to land and property, invasion of privacy, and conversion. Even in situations where the wrongdoer is charged criminally, an individual may still bring a civil lawsuit against the wrongdoer to recover monetary damages. This is true even if the individual is found not guilty at a criminal trial. For example, an individual who is charged in Scott County for battery, but whose charges are later dropped, or who is found not guilty at a criminal trial, may still have a lawsuit brought against them by the victim.
Damages depend greatly on the specific cause of action and the extent of the harm suffered. In general, the damages for intentional torts tend to be more comprehensive than those available under simple negligence claims. In additional to the common compensatory damages allowed in negligence claims, punitive damages are also more likely to be awarded. Punitive damages are awarded more often in intentional tort claims, as individuals committing intentional torts are more culpable than those who are merely negligent. A cause of action for an intentional tort can therefore lead to high monetary awards.