Tort Law Vs Contract Law

Among the terms used most often in the legal world are "contract" and "tort." Despite the fact that they both deal with legally binding contracts, they have several key differences.

Consent is typically the deciding factor in whether something is a contract. In a contract, the conditions are agreed upon by both parties. A tort occurs when one party is accused of willfully breaking an obligation owed to another party.

What is Tort Law?

Torts are civil wrongs that can be committed by one person against another. In contrast to a contract, there is no requirement that the parties have any form of relationship. The only requirement is that one party violates an obligation that he or she has towards the other party.

Negligence, deliberate torts, and strict responsibility torts are the three primary categories of torts.

Intentional Torts

As the name implies, intentional torts are those in which the defendant harmed the plaintiff on purpose. You might be familiar with assault, battery, and false imprisonment as examples of deliberate torts.


The most prevalent kind of tort is negligence. Damages are brought about when the defendant violates a duty of care given to the plaintiff.

Strict Responsibility Torts

In certain situations, even though the defendant is not at fault, they are nevertheless responsible for the damages. This is typically applicable when the defendant is taking part in a risky activity.

What is Contract?

A two or more parties’ agreement that establishes duties that can be enforced legally is generally referred to as a contract. The agreement may be expressed explicitly or impliedly, and it may be written or oral.

In order for a contract to be enforceable in court, the following conditions must be met:

  • Offer: One party must make an offer to the other.

  • Acceptance: The terms of the offer must be accepted by the other party.

  • Consideration: The exchange of something of value, such as cash, products, or services, is required from both sides.

  • Competent to make Contract: Both parties must be of legal age and be able to comprehend the conditions of the contract.

  • Legality: The clauses of the contract cannot be forbidden by law.

To be valid and enforceable, most contracts typically need formalities like signing or exchanging money. However, in some circumstances, the contract might be inferred from the behavior or statements of the parties.

Difference Between Tort and Contract

Based on above discussion, the following table highlights the major differences between tort and contract −

Tort LawContract Law
Since harm is always done against the will of the party affected, no privity exists or is required in tort law.The parties to a contract must always be legally bound to one another, or there cannot be a valid contract.
Minors have the right to sue for torts, and any damages awarded are paid from their assets.
Minority is a strong defense because a minor's contract is null and void, and the estoppel rule does not apply.
  • Rule of Estoppel: If someone else believes something to be true that isn't really true, he or she is then prohibited from denying it in the future.

Note: However, if it is in the interest of a minor, a law suit may be filled and contract will be considered as valid.

Without or against the consent of the party, a tort is committed; hence, no consent is required for the obligation to exist. Or in other words, in this case, acquaintance or prior familiarity/relation is not a criteria rather anyone (even stranger) who commits wrong and violates/harms some else property or causes bodily harm, will be responsible for the damages.The parties' agreement is the basis of the contract's duty; thus, agreement is the contract's essential component. Or in other words, only the parties involved in the contract have such right, any third person cannot initiate a law-suit or claim for the damages in any case.
Duties determined by LawDuties determined by the parties i.e. under terms and conditions of contract/agreement.


Contracts and torts are both crucial aspects of our daily lives. Both of these concepts should be understood and used correctly. The court assists the person who has been harmed in seeking remedy and obtaining compensation from the other party. And when a contract is broken, the parties agree on the appropriate remedy. Contract and tort are important considerations on their own fields.

Although the themes of tort and contract are related, they belong to different areas of the law.


Q1. What are the differences between tort and contract?

Ans. A contract means an agreement between two or more parties to create certain obligations. A tort means a civil wrong that one person may commit against another.

Q2. What is the purpose of tort law and contract law?

Ans. Currently, the predominant function of tort law is to compensate individuals for loss or injury suffered. However, as not all losses or injuries are actionable in tort, it cannot be said that this is the purpose or aim of the tort law. On the other hand, contract law binds the parties to abide the terms and conditions of agreement or else will have to pay the damages.

Updated on: 17-Mar-2023

2K+ Views

Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started