Ask An Attorney: Negligence Lawsuits

Several different types of lawsuits can be brought in Pennsylvania Courts. The most common lawsuits filed in Pennsylvania are tort related. A tort is a civil wrong other than a breach of contract. This month’s submission will focus on the most common type of tort, namely negligence lawsuits.

Negligence lawsuit cases can range from automobile accidents, slip and fall accidents, premises liability, professional negligence and/or malpractice and etc. Negligence occurs when an individual fails to exercise the degree of care expected of someone in that situation, and it results in an injury. A person has a duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent harm to others. If an individual fails to exercise reasonable care and causes injury to another, then that individual is responsible for the damages caused by their negligence.

A classic example of negligence is the car accident example. For instance, if a driver is not paying attention to the road while using their phone and runs into a pedestrian, then that negligent driver would be liable for the damages to the pedestrian caused by the distracted driver’s failure to use reasonable care.

There are more complicated examples in negligence lawsuits, such as comparative negligence, whereby an injured party’s recovery may be reduced or eliminated if the injured party’s own negligence contributed to their injury. An illustration of comparative negligence can be shown by using the example from the previous paragraph. The pedestrian who was hit by the negligent driver may have their recovery diminished if they were not using reasonable care for themselves by jaywalking when they were struck by the negligent driver. For more information about this area of the law, please feel free to give my office a call.

If you have any issues that you would like discussed in the next issue of the Northside Chronicle, please click here to contact Matthew Gailey through our website or give me a call at (412)223-6712.

Originally published in “The Northside Chronicle,”  September 2017 edition.

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