Tort and Insurance Law

I.     Course Prefix/Number: PAR 215

       Course Name: Tort and Insurance Law

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

PAR 101 and PAR 110, both with minimum grade of C. Recommended: PAR 113 and PAR 210 or consent of program coordinator.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course covers the role of the paralegal in tort and insurance law. Topics include basic tort and insurance principles, insurance claim procedures, and pleading forms used in litigation of various actions.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. understand insurance claims and procedures.
  2. demonstrate an understanding of tort law; define tort.
  3. identify the elements of the intentional torts and defenses to each of the intentional torts.
  4. demonstrate an understanding of punitive damages.
  5. demonstrate a thorough understanding of the tort of negligence and the defenses thereto.
  6. understand the concept of strict liability; understand ethics as it relates to tort law.
  7. understand the concept of products liability and its relationship to tort theories of recovery.
  8. demonstrate an understanding of how a tort action is commenced:  identify pleadings in a tort action; know the parts of a complaint for tort damages; know the parts to a defense of a tort action; demonstrate an understanding of the concept of affirmative defense.
  9. conduct an intake interview in a tort matter.
  10. conduct discovery in a tort case.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Tort Principles
    1. Legal Definitions and Distinctions
    2. Common Law Causes of Action
    3. Statutory Causes of Action
      1. State (Illinois)
      2. Federal
  2. Insurance Principles
    1. Definitions and Types of Policies
      1. automobile
      2. business and personal liability
      3. fire and extended coverage
      4. special coverage
  3. Negligence Law
  4. Products Liability
  5. Professional Liability
  6. Litigation
    1. Plaintiffs' Cases
      1. pleadings
      2. evidence
      3. initial proceedings
    2. Defendants' Cases
      1. pleadings
      2. discovery
  7. Administrative Law
    1. Workman's Compensation
    2. Claims Against Government Bodies
      1. state
      2. federal
      3. local
      4. miscellaneous
  8. Ethical Concerns in Tort Law

VII.  Methods of Instruction

  1. Lecture
  2. Discussion
  3. Special practice problems

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Reading Assignments
  2. Writing Assignments

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Statsky, Torts: Personal Injury Litigation, 4th edition, Delmar, 2001.
West, Illinois Code of Civil Procedure & State Court Rules, 6th ed., West, 2006.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

  1. Examinations
  2. Quizzes
  3. Class exercises
  4. Drafting assignments

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.