What is a Legal Basis?
There are two legal bases which you should be aware of that pertain to spinal cord injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries caused by negligence.
If the actions and failure to maintain “duty of care” of another party has caused you to suffer a spinal cord injury, you can pursue a civil claim. In order to sue, you will need to prove that the defendant is legally responsible, or liable.
- Spinal cord injuries caused by defective products.
Rather, if a defective product has caused your injury, then you could pursue a claim against the party that was involved in the chain of manufacturing. This can include the companies that designed, manufactured, or marketed the item. Again, you will need viable evidence of how the defective product caused you harm.
Should you choose to file a spinal cord injury claim, a skillful attorney can further explain these definitions and assist you in establishing the elements of negligence. The following elements will help a spinal cord injury attorney establish the liability of the defendant:
- Duty of care – Duty of care is a legal responsibility to take reasonable care so that others are not harmed.
- Breach of duty – This occurs when a party fails to take reasonable care and thus strips others of safety. For example, if an individual operates a vehicle under the influence, thus impairing their cognition and attentiveness to the road, they have breached the duty of care.
- Causation of the injury – The other party’s negligence must be the significant cause of your injury. Proof of the defendant breaching the duty of care can support the claim of their negligence which caused your injury.
- Physical measurability of the injury – “Measurable harm” is an element of liability in which the physical injuries, in this case your spinal cord injury, will determine the economic and non-economic losses available to you.
There are certain tactics that defendants may uses to diminish the credibility of your spinal cord injury claim. These are called common defenses, which include:
- Contributory and comparative negligence – In order to avoid legal fault, a defendant may argue “contributory negligence,” where the injured person had some contribution to the accident due to some recklessness or carelessness. If the contribution can be weighed, this is called “comparative negligence”.
- Assumption of the risk – If you sustained your injury through an activity associated with risks, then the defendant may argue that you assumed the risks of the situation and chose to partake. If assumption of risk is established, you may not recover damages.
If you have sustained a spinal cord injury on behalf of the negligence of another party, the South Carolina statute of limitations for personal injury is 3 years from the date of the injury that was caused by the accident.