Perceived Injustice Predicts Intention to Litigate: Findings from a Spinal Cord Injury Sample

Zina Trost, Kimberley R. Monden, Melissa Buelow, Adriel Boals, Whitney Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The current study examined the association between perceived injustice (assessed by the Injustice Experiences Questionnaire) and intent to litigate in a sample of individuals who had recently suffered a spinal cord injury and were currently on an inpatient rehabilitation unit. Higher perception of injustice was associated with reported interest in litigation. In logistic regression analyses, perceived injustice uniquely differentiated between individuals who foresaw involvement in litigation versus those who did not, with the blame/unfairness factor of the Injustice Experiences Questionnaire emerging as more significant than the severity/irreparability of loss factor. Both anticipated litigation and higher perception of injustice were associated with greater attribution of responsibility for injury to other person(s) and reduced forgiveness across a number of domains. Finally, a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was conducted to identify IEQ score most associated with anticipated litigation. This study is the first to examine perception of injustice in a spinal cord injury sample or the association between perceived injustice and litigation intent. Results support the possibility that psychological appraisals of injury may have significant legal ramifications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-40
Number of pages10
JournalPsychological Injury and Law
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Blame
  • Forgiveness
  • Litigation
  • Perceived injustice
  • Spinal cord injury


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