What Legal Theories Can Be Used to Pursue a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit?

    What Legal Theories Can Be Used to Pursue a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit?
  • Negligence
  • Products liability
  • Medical malpractice
  • Wrongful death
  1. What Is The Most Common Cause Of Action For Spinal Injury Cases?
  2. What Are The Elements For A Negligece Lawsuit?
  3. What Are The Elements For Other Spinal Injury Cases?
  4. Wondering How You Should Sue For Your Spinal Cord Injury?

What Is The Most Common Cause Of Action For Spinal Injury Cases?

Spinal cord accidents are personal injury issues and typically governed by Illinois negligence principles. The laws of negligence state that people are responsible for the injuries that they cause others when they breach a legal duty. The crux of the case is that someone acted unreasonably in the circumstances and that conduct harmed someone else in a tangible way or as Illinois law puts it:

“The failure to do something which a reasonably careful person would do, or the doing of something which a reasonably careful person would not, under circumstances similar to those shown by the evidence.”

Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions 10.01

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What Are The Elements For A Negligece Lawsuit?

Out of these ideas come four basic elements that all negligence actions must include and prove:

  1. The defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty. We all owe others the general duty not to harm them (i.e. not crash into them with our cars and break their spines). Yet, in more complicated circumstances, such as with advanced medical situations, the exact duty and corresponding standard of conduct might be harder to illustrate.
  2. The defendant breached the legal duty. As you can imagine, the more open and obvious the duty or standard, the easier it will be to show that a defendant breached that duty. On the other, the more nuanced and finite the duty is, the harder it will be to prove a breach occurred.
  3. The defendant’s breach caused you injuries. Connecting the dots from the defendant’s conduct to your spinal cord injury and other harms is critical to your negligence action. As mentioned above, you must block the defendant’s effort to point the finger at you or anybody else.
  4. Your injuries resulted in damages. You cannot sue others for negligence for general harms, rather, you must point to specific monetary or related damages such as a spinal injury.

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WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS FOR OTHER SPINAL INJURY CASES?

If your spinal injury lawsuit isn’t for negligence, then it will most likely be for products liability, medical malpractice, or wrongful death. Here are the pertinent elements for each of these causes of action:

  • Products liability
    • You were reasonably using a product;
    • It was defective;
    • You were injured while using it; and
    • The defect was responsible for your harms.
  • Medical malpractice
    • You were in patient-provider relationship with the defendant;
    • The defendant owed you a particular standard of medical care;
    • The defendant failed to give you that requisite level of care;
    • You were injured because of that breach in care; and
    • You suffered damages because of that breach.
  • Wrongful death
    • Someone died;
    • The death was caused by negligent or intentional acts or omissions of defendant; and
    • You suffered some direct loss because of the death.

These aren’t the only claims you could make at court following a spine injury, but it’s important to know them because they are the most frequent. Also, there will be important intricacies within whatever case you file that you should discuss with your attorney because they could decide whether you win or lose.

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Wondering How You Should Sue For Your Spinal Cord Injury?

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can help you put together the best legal theories that ensure you receive the most compensation possible under Illinois law. Spinal cord accident cases are factually and legally complicated. However, with our team, you can be sure that you will have the resources and skill to compete in court. Call us today to find out how!

If you would like to read more about spinal cord injuries, please read the following articles:

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