How does tort law differ from contract law?

Tort and contract law are both forms of civil law, but they differ. Tort law imposes duties on everyone in society to act in a socially reasonable manner. Contract law imposes duties only on individuals who sign a contract. Similarly, tort law imposes obligations on everyone to act reasonably, while contract law imposes obligations on the parties who sign the contract.

Another major difference between these two forms of civil law concern the time period in which a person has to file a lawsuit called a statute of limitations. In many states the standard time frame to file a tort lawsuit is one or two years, while the period for a suit based on contract is longer. Remember to check the law in your respective state for information on the applicable statute of limitations.