The Law of Torts The defendant would be held accountable for the same
whenever a case was brought against them for committing a tort
and all the necessary components of that wrong were present.
Even under these situations, the defendant can escape liability by
pledging one of the several defense’s under tort law. Some
defense’s are more pertinent to some offences than others. The
various defense’s in a defamation case include fair remarks,
privileges, and justification, among others.

The Law of Torts
Accident Claim ,Insurance as a Tort

In accordance with common legal consensus, the term
“defence” refers to protecting oneself or someone else from any
act that might be committed by someone else and that act is not
legal. It exclusively refers to defense’s made by the defendant in
tort cases that, if adopted, would allow the defendant to avoid
responsibility even though all the elements of the tort for which
the claimant is suing are present.

To put it briefly, the word employed in tort law is “general
defense’s,” which implies that when a plaintiff initiates an action
against a defendant for a tort they committed, that person will be
found accountable for it if all the necessary elements are present
for that harm to have occurred.


The word “tort” is derived from “tortus,” which is Latin for
“wrong” or “crooked.” It alludes to infamous or perverse
behavior’s. The English word’s equivalent is incorrect. So, under
common law, a tort is a civil wrong. Thus, the core concern of tort
law is the payment of damages for civil wrongs sustained as a
result of another’s actions or inactions.


General Defense’s are essentially a group of defense that
have developed over time and have occasionally been accepted
by courts. They can be used as justifications to avoid tort liability
as long as the defendant’s actions meet the requirements that
are associated with each defense. There are some defense’s that
are specifically related to certain crimes, such as the defense of
truth, privilege, and fair remark in cases of defamation, while
other defenses, including consent and third party’s fault, can be
used in all or many tort cases.


The apparent perpetrator has adequate defense’s at their
disposal that they can employ, including:

Volenti non-fit injuria or “Consent” as a defence
● The plaintiff is the perpetrator.

● Unavoidable mishap
● Act of God Defense by myself
● Mistakes
● Necessity
● Statutory mandate


A spectator named V went to a soccer match and sat in
the front row. During a penalty kick, the player’s ball struck V on
the head, causing a minor injury to his forehead. He filed a lawsuit
against the stadium and the player, but they used the defense of
“Volenti non-fit injuria,” which states that when a person
voluntarily agrees to suffer an injury that may be unlawful.

According to the Latin proverb Volenti Non-Fit Injuria, a
person who is prepared to suffer harm and injury as a result of the
defendant’s activities and gives agreement to such harm and
injury cannot file a claim against such injury to his legal rights.
When the plaintiff consents to the harm, he cannot hold the
defendant accountable for that harm, and the defendant may
employ the Volenti Non-Fit Injuria defence to escape any
potential liability.
This defence of the defendant is logically
supported by the idea that one cannot enforce rights that one
has knowingly and voluntarily waived. Such intentional
permission may be given explicitly or subtly.

The plaintiff in Thomas v. Quartermaine was a worker at
the brewery owned by the defendant. He was attempting to open
the lid of a water tank that was on fire. The plaintiff had to exert
an additional pull to remove the lid since it had been struck. He
was thrown into another container that held hot liquid by the
force created by the additional pull, and the incident left him with
catastrophic injuries. As the danger was apparent to the
defendant and the plaintiff took a voluntary action that led to his
injuries, the defendant was not held responsible.

In the case of Padmavati v. Dugganaika, The jeep’s driver
went to get gas for the vehicle. The jeep picked up two strangers.
Some sort of issue with the right wheel caused the jeep to
tumble. One of the two strangers who took the lift died as a result
of injuries sustained after being flung out of the jeep.


An unforeseen injury is referred to as an accident, and if
that injury could not have been prevented despite the
defendant’s best efforts to exercise prudence and due diligence, it
is referred to as an inevitable accident. This defense allows the
defendant to escape responsibility for the injury. The defendant
can demonstrate that the legal injury could not have been
avoided while exercising all reasonable caution and care and
having no malice against the other party when using the defense
of an inevitable accident. This makes it a good and strong
defense. This describes an occurrence that was unavoidable and
could not have been predicted or avoided in time, despite all
reasonable safeguards.

The defendant and the plaintiff attended a pheasant
shooting in Stanely v. Powell. The plaintiff was seriously injured
when the defendant fired a shot intended for a pheasant, but the
bullet missed the target after being deflected by an oak tree. The
incident was viewed as an unavoidable accident, hence the
defendant, in this case, was not held accountable.


The Act of God’s defense’s are a somewhat notable variant
of unavoidable accidents, but the main distinction between the
two is that in the Act of God, natural forces portray a crucial part.
When an incident occurs over which the defendant has no
control and the resulting damage is attributable to natural
causes, the defence of the Act of God is used. Simply put, it is
described as a set of events for which no amount of human
planning could account and which a reasonably sensible
individual would not have recognised as having the potential to
occur. The resulting damages are tainted by natural causes hence
the defendant is not accountable for these harms.


It is legal to use force that is reasonable or justifiable to
defend oneself against any harm or danger, but certain
conditions must be met in order for the defense to be justified or

● Only in cases of self-defense is the use of force acceptable.
● The life or property of a person must be in immediate
● The amount of force employed must be proportionate to
the threat at hand.
● The law only permits taking actions that are required to
eliminate a threat in order to protect property.

In Bird v. Holbrook, the defendant installed spring
weapons in his garden without providing any warning, and the
plaintiff, who was trespassing, was hurt when the automatic firing
occurred. The defendant’s actions were deemed unjustified by
the court, and the plaintiff was granted the right to compensation
for his injuries.

Similarly, the defendant in Ramajuna Mudali v. M. Gangan
was a landowner who had installed a network of live wires on his
property. At ten o’clock at night, the plaintiff attempted to cross
his land to get to his own farm. Because there was no warning
that the wire was live, he was shocked and suffered significant


The general defense of necessity gives the defendant the
right to hurt the plaintiff legally in order to prevent greater harm.
According to this defense, the defendant would not be held
accountable if they intentionally did anything that caused legal
harm to another person in order to stop worse harm.

If an act is performed in an effort to avoid injury and cause
harm, the person who performed the act is not held accountable.
If an act is purposely carried out in order to mitigate a greater
threat, the perpetrator will not be held accountable. For instance,
a surgeon might operate on a patient who is unconscious in order
to save their life. There will be no way to hold the doctor
accountable. Regarding Kirk v. Gregory After A’s death, A’s sister-
in-law thought it would be safer to hide some jeweler in the
room where he was found dead.

Every legal case involves two parties—one who has filed a
lawsuit against the other and another who is defending
themselves. Such parties are known as Plaintiffs and Defendants
in tort law. Once all conditions are met and the defendant’s guilt
is established, the only way he can defend himself and escape
liability is by using one of the General Defenses that are available
under the tort law that has developed over time.

After the plaintiff files a lawsuit alleging that the defendant
has committed a tort, it is up to the plaintiff to demonstrate that
his legal rights have been violated by the defendant’s wrongful

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Even though it would ordinarily constitute a tort, conduct
that is authorized by a law or statute issued by the relevant
authorities does not become actionable. It acts as a complete
defense against tort responsibility, leaving the injured plaintiff
with no further recourse than any compensation that may be
offered by the relevant statute.


The purpose of this essay is to highlight the crucial part
that general defense’s play in reducing one’s responsibility for
torts. It is essential to learn about general defense’s under tort law
while studying tort. A series of “excuses” known as general
defense’s can be used to absolve yourself of responsibility.

The defendant would be liable for the same if the plaintiff
brought an action against the defendant for a specific tort and
provided that all of the elements of that tort were present. It lists
every defense that can be raised in a case, depending on the facts
and circumstances. Similar to the options for redress for harmed
parties, defense for alleged parties are a crucial component of
any law. Many times, the defendants are innocent and the victims
of events that result in culpability for their actions after all
requirements under tort law have been satisfied. The General
Defenses in Tort Law play a significant role in this law and aid the
defendant in avoiding any potential culpability. A thorough
understanding of such defense’s is crucial for their correct use in
certain instances.

Also Read Pravin Chandra Mody

Vaishnavi Parate Intern at Fastrack Legal Solutions LLP

LL.B 3 RD YEAR, Shri. Nathmal Goenka Law College


  1. General Defences in Law of Torts – Indian Legal Solution
  2. General Defences in Tort: An Overview
  3. General defences under law of torts – iPleaders

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