Breach of Contractual Duty as Negligence

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), each year there are nearly 25 million doctor visits for injuries caused by an accident.  Most often, these accidental injuries are caused by motor vehicle collisions where common sense and the “Rules of the Road” dictate what motorists were required to do to avoid an accident and who is responsible.  Similarly, accidental injuries involving medical malpractice use a professional standard of care to show how doctors and other health care professionals were obligated to act in a given situation.  This “obligation” or “requirement” to act reasonably to avoid an injury is known as a “duty” in our court system.  

There are several accidental injuries where the “duty” of the persons or companies involved are not always clear.  For instance, who is responsible for fixing defective doors or cleaning icy sidewalks on commercial property or creating safe working procedures on construction sites or in workplaces or in the design and operation of machinery?  In many instances, attorneys can turn to contracts such as commercial leases, construction agreements, work orders or sales contracts to understand what “obligations” or duties the parties agreed to undertake in a given transaction.  

Under Illinois law, courts have long recognized that a contractual undertaking to perform a service for a third person is sufficient to create a duty of care under tort law – even when the injury victim was not a party to a contract.  Courts recognize that many of those contractual undertakings are meant to benefit parties outside the contract – including customers visiting stores in commercial buildings, employees on construction sites and operators of machinery – to name just a few.  The attorneys at the Feagans Law Group have effectively used contracts to establish duties in a variety of settings including the failure to salt for ice at a gas station, the failure to maintain a driveway in an apartment building, the failure to implement safety procedures on a construction site, the failure to maintain automatic doors at a hardware store and more.     

Guiding Your Path to Justice

If you or your family has been injured, it is critical to discuss the case with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine who is responsible and how they should have acted to prevent the injury.  The attorneys at the Feagans Law Group have the experience and knowledge necessary to explore every potentially at-fault party, including those with contractual responsibilities.  We would be honored if you considered allowing the attorneys at the Feagans Law Group to Guide Your Path to Justice.