What Is Personal Injury?
Personal injury law is based on the concept that when a person is negligent and causes injury to another, that person should pay compensation for the injuries he or she has caused. This concept has been a part of the American legal system since the founding of the country, and it is enshrined in the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution which preserves the right to a trial by jury in almost all civil matters.
Negligence is defined as the failure to use ordinary care. In other words, when a person fails to exercise reasonable care for his or her safety or the safety of another person in a given situation, that person is negligent. When negligence results in injury, the negligent party is liable for the injuries and damages that result from the negligent conduct.
Understanding Wrongful Death
When someone’s negligent actions result in the death of another person, according to Cornell University Law School, their actions can be the basis of a wrongful death case. In these cases, which are still a form of personal injury law, a claim for wrongful death can be brought forth by the deceased person’s surviving family members. Usually, these family members must be close relatives, such as a husband or a wife, a parent or a sibling.
Compared with personal injury cases where the harmed person survives, the damages for a wrongful death that can be rewarded are different. For example, after family members make a wrongful death claim on behalf of a deceased relative, they can seek compensation for the cost of funeral expenses and any medical expenses that were incurred prior to their loved one’s passing away.
Additionally, the relatives may be able to seek damages for any pain or suffering that occurred prior to their loved one’s death, compensation for loss of companionship and damages for the lost economic support the deceased person would have provided if he or she had survived.
If a person is injured by intentional conduct on the part of another, or if the conduct is so reckless that malicious intent can be implied, then the injured person can seek “punitive damages” from the wrongdoer. Punitive damages are assessed in order to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future.
A Pennsylvania personal injury lawsuit is an option for victims who have suffered personal injury caused by the wrongdoing or negligence of another party.
A Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
If a victim suffers a personal injury caused by the wrongdoing or negligence of another party, he or she may be entitled to compensation for damages resulting from their injuries, including:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income or ability to work
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish resulting from an injury
If a victim dies as a result of a personal injury caused by the wrongdoing or negligence of another, his or her family members may be able to pursue compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one. Wrongful death damages can include:
- Mental anguish, and pain and suffering from the loss of a loved one
- Loss of relationship or a loved one’s financial support
- Funeral expenses
- Conscious pain and suffering or a loved one prior to death
People who have been injured due to another’s negligence are advised to seek the advice of a Pennsylvania personal injury attorney to help them protect their legal rights.