Criminal Negligence in Spinal Cord Injury Cases


Criminal negligence cases are when a spinal cord injury is caused by someone else’s mistake or inaction. Mistakes happen all the time, but many can be prevented, and this can be proven in a court of law.

Spinal cord injuries caused by criminal negligence happen often. For example, a business owner can become careless in the upkeep of their business, causing an injury to their customers, or a person can act recklessly, such as speeding on the freeway leading to a serious car crash that injures another individual. Therefore, it is important to find a lawyer with experience litigating spinal cord injury cases caused by criminal negligence. Proving someone is criminally negligent is more difficult when compared to a civil case.

While civil cases are more common after a spinal cord injury, if someone is criminally responsible, a separate criminal negligence case should be filed. No one should get away with directly causing a spinal cord injury due to inaction or not paying attention. Paralysis is a permanent, life-changing, debilitating condition.

Negligence 101

Negligence is one of the oldest theories of law. Technically, negligence is a failure to exercise caution that a “reasonably prudent” person would otherwise do in the same situation. Although each state is entitled to its own laws on negligence, most state laws on negligence are very similar to one another.

Professionals, such as doctors, are held to a higher standard in the court of law due to their education and expertise. The law expects experts in their field to act more professionally, as well as be more cautious and have the skills they need to be successful. Lawyers, doctors, engineers, and other professionals are considered experts. Some inactions or actions professionals can be found guilty of when it comes to negligence include:

  • A pilot flying a commercial plane while intoxicated
  • A lawyer not filing paperwork on time on behalf of their clients, causing their case to be dismissed
  • A construction business improperly installing a light fixture, and it falls, severely injuring someone

When a Case Turns Criminal

Not every negligence case means the defendant should go to prison for their crime, or that it is a criminal case at all. More often than not, a civil negligence case will remain a civil case. For a civil case to have a separate criminal case, the defendant’s negligence should be so terrible that a criminal case must be filed. Criminal negligence in the world of spinal cord injuries can include the following:

  • A hunter is accidentally shot by a fellow hunter not following protocols
  • A motorcyclist races on the road, causing an injury to another driver
  • A person is injured by a police officer chokehold

Criminal Cases Are Different

If you decide to file a criminal negligence case after a spinal cord injury, this case will be tried separately from your civil case/lawsuit. To win this criminal case, you will need adequate proof that shows “beyond a reasonable doubt” the defendant is guilty. In criminal cases that are based on negligence, if the defendant is found not guilty, this does not mean they are not guilty. It simply means there was not enough evidence to prove the case.

Also, since it is a criminal negligence case, your lawyer cannot independently prosecute the case. A district attorney or an assistant attorney must do so instead. As a result, it is a good idea to provide evidence of your case to the police to improve your chances of winning. You must also be willing to participate in your case for the prosecutors to pursue charges.

Remember: a criminal negligence case is about doing what is right and not about the financial reward. For many, the criminal element case is about feeling vindicated. Knowing the guilty party is sent to prison for their gross inaction can be incredibly healing. The criminal ruling can help the civil case as well. People will often receive more money in their civil lawsuit if they win their criminal case.

Let Us Help You with a Criminal Negligence Case!

Compiling the right evidence for a criminal negligence case can be tricky. Luckily, The Spinal Cord Injury Law Firm has vast experience with collecting evidence and building strong cases for those who have experienced personal injuries. If you have experienced a traumatic personal injury and are looking to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, contact us today at for a free legal consultation. We know personal injury, and we will fight for you to receive the justice and compensation you deserve.