Many people have a too-narrow concept of Pittsburgh personal injury law. Although it certainly covers physical injuries, it actually involves any violation of an individual’s rights, with the exception of property rights. The injury itself may be physical or emotional.
Many physical injuries stem from slip and fall, automobile, workplace, aircraft, and railroad accidents. These commonly involve traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and internal or soft tissue damage. Yet physical injury can also result from an assault by another person, an animal attack or bite, medical malpractice, dangerous products, or exposure to toxic chemicals. All of these can result in tangible, physical injuries or even death. (Personal injury resulting in death can lead to a wrongful death lawsuit.)
Intangible or non-physical injuries, however, can be just as real to victims. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after an accident, assault, or other emotionally distressing episode. Workers who are involved in a plant explosion or fire, for example, may suffer PTSD even if they receive no physical injuries. The same is true for airplane or automobile crash survivors. The trauma of the event inflicts the damage.
To receive damages for Pittsburgh personal injuries, a plaintiff must establish that the defendant is legally responsible for the injuries sustained. Generally this requires proving negligence by showing:
- The defendant had a ""duty of care"" to avoid harming others.
- The defendant breached that duty (i.e., ran a red light).
- The breach caused the plaintiff’s injury.
- The plaintiff suffered resulting damages.
A less common type of personal injury case involves the intentional infliction of emotional distress (grief, fear, or other unpleasant emotion). Plaintiffs seeking compensation in these cases must prove:
- The defendant acted intentionally or recklessly.
- The defendant’s conduct was extreme or outrageous.
- That conduct caused severe emotional distress.
As always, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff, and these can be difficult cases to win.
Provided courtesy of Rewis & Yoder, P.C., Wexford, PA., 877-826-9659, www.rewisyoder.com.
Personal injury attorneys in Pittsburgh can help you decide whether your case is due to physical or non-physical injury. The Pittsburgh injury lawyers at Rewis & Yoder have experience in resolving injury cases and are here to help you. If you have suffered a personal injury it is imperative you conta