Personal injury lawsuits refer to people who have suffered some kind of harm or distress due to an action or an omission of action on the part of others. A lawsuit can be filed on account of either psychological harm or bodily harm, but the latter is more clearly related to the concept of injury and more easily demonstrable. This means that they represent a larger percentage of the successful such suits which are filed.
Torts involving physical injury might refer either to intentional acts of assault, in which the defendant acts toward the end of causing harm to come to the plaintiff, or cases of negligence, in which the defendant fails to meet obligations to provide for the physical well-being of others. A lawsuit claiming an intentional assault might occur alongside or in connection with a separate prosecution of the same act on criminal grounds.
The concepts of assault and battery often appears in criminal law systems as a single charge, tying together both the attempt at and the accomplishment of an act. When they are dealt with through torts, by contrast, assault and battery are generally understood as two separate ideas. In charging an intentional component to the infliction of injury, plaintiffs make the claim that an assault was committed upon them.
The concepts of physical injury and assault, as they are addressed by civil law through personal injury torts, are not necessarily equivalent, since assault refers to the intention to initiate unwanted physical contact, which may not be deemed undesirable due to the possibility of causing injury.
An intentional civil law case of physical injury, then, will necessarily involve an assault being made upon the plaintiff, but an assault upon the plaintiff may confer liability on the defendant in the event that it causes significant emotional distress. Sexual harassment, for one, may be deemed a kind of assault in that the physical contact which it initiates or threatens causes the recipient to develop emotional or mental problems.
A plaintiff can suffer physical injury and issue a lawsuit as a result without having been made the subject of an assault. In this case, the physical injury will have been the result of negligence on the part of the defendant. Though the responsible individual would not have intended the injury to the plaintiff, he or she would have had a responsibility to act in defense of the well-being of others. If you need legal advice and assistance, contact injury lawyers.
Some of the more unusual, and noted, instances of physical injury tried as a tort of negligence are those in which fast-food restaurants issue cups of coffee to their customers which are too hot. Other common cases are those in which building owners fail to meet the responsibilities of ownership by not providing for the safety of the floors or steps of their building, leading to people slipping and falling and therefore suffering physical injury.
Physicians who injure their patients through malpractice, such as during surgery, can also be found liable based upon their obligation to assure the safety of their patients.