Difference between tort and contract is discussed in this article. Earlier we discussed the essential elements of tort and essential elements of a valid contract. Before discussing what is the difference between tort and contract, let’s see what is tort in law? and what is contract in law?

difference between tort and contract
Difference Between Tort and Contract

What is Tort in Law?

What is tort mean in law? So, the tort in law is defined as the private infringement of the civil rights of an individual and the tort occurs when there is negligence by the wrongdoer and directly causes the injury to the individual person or injury to his/her property.

There is a new emerging definition of the tort is that it is a civil wrong where an individual can sue another individual without any preexisting relation that in case of Law of Contracts and in tort the individual is not relying on the State or any other authorities for suing another person for his wrongful act.

There are different types of tort, and this is results in injury to the individual person or property. Whereas, negligence is the common cause of a tort. When an individual unintentionally injures another person then the injured party can sue the defendant for compensation for his tortious act.

For example, a tort can be seen in road accidents, medical malpractices, assault, etc.

What is Contract in Law?

What is Contract in Law? Basically, the contract is an agreement which enforceable by law. This definition of contract has been provided under section 2 (h) of the Indian Contract Act, 1872.

In simple words, the contract is an agreement between two or more parties where each party assumes a legal obligation that must be completed.

Due to this, the contract can also become the source of disputes between the contracting parties. Whenever one party misleads the other party in the contractual obligations then the other party has the right to file a suit for specific performance of the contract against the party.

Difference Between Tort and Contract

The difference/distinguish between the tort and contract has been given as below;

Tort Contract

Tort means a wrongful act that leads to legal liability.

Contract means every agreement enforceable by law is a contract.

In the law of torts, the courts create the rights and duties.

In the law of contracts, the rights and duties are a result of the acts of agreement between the contracting parties.

A tort is a violation of a right in rem.

In contracts, the breach of contract is a violation of a right in personam.

The tort comes from Common Law.

Whereas, the contract comes from the Law of Contracts.

In torts, minors can sue and can be sued and damages are paid out of his/her property.

In contracts, the agreement with a minor is null and void. Hence minor is not liable for any damages.

In torts, privity does not exist.

Whereas in contracts, privity does exist.

In torts, the obligation arises without the consent of the parties.

In contracts, the obligation arises with the consent of the parties.

In torts, the mistake of fact has no defence.

In contracts, the mistake of fact has defences but not in the case of mistake of law.

In torts, duty is fixed and imposed by the law.

In contracts, duty is fixed by the will and consent of the parties.

In torts, the motive is considerable.

In contracts, the motive for breach of contract is immaterial.

In torts, damages that are awarded may be real, exemplary, unliquidated or contemptuous.

In contracts, damages are awarded by real and liquidated damages. Exemplary damages are rarely awarded.

In torts, the period of limitation is considered from the date when the damage is suffered.

In contracts, the period of limitation is considered from the date of the breach of contract.


Difference between tort and contract is discussed in this article. As the term contract comes from the law of contract and the term tort comes from common law.

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