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Endangerment: A Legal Definition

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Updated November 30, 2018 | Legal Dictionary |

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Endangerment is a tort—or action causing harm to another—in which a person exposes others to possible danger or harm. Endangerment can be intentional or accidental.

Intentional Endangerment

Intentional endangerment is usually a crime. A person who intentionally endangers another may face criminal charges and may be sued for damages by their victim. Examples of intentional endangerment include:

  • Battery
  • Assault
  • Reckless driving

Accidental Endangerment

Unintentional or accidental endangerment generally involves negligence. A person who may not mean any harm can still endanger another person through careless actions or inaction. Examples of this type of endangerment include:

  • Certain types of medical malpractice
  • A store owner failing to warn of slippery floors with appropriate signage
  • A distracted driver who rear-ends another motorist

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