Causation in personal injury cases refers to whether or not the defendant’s actions were the actual cause and proximate cause (legal cause) of an accident and the plaintiff’s injuries.
Understanding Causation in a Personal Injury Claim.
You may consider a lawsuit after an accident or other event leads to personal injuries or other damages. If you do, it is important to understand the issues you must prove in a personal injury trial and negligence claim generally.
In most personal injury cases, you must prove causation by showing the defendant’s actions weren’t what a reasonable person would do in the situation. This is referred to as negligence.
Further, you must illustrate the defendant’s actions caused the plaintiff’s injuries or at least the defendant’s negligence did. This includes the actual cause, legal cause, and proximate cause.
We will analyze these individually in the next section. Now, just remember that the key to proving causation in a personal injury case is to tie the plaintiff’s injury to the defendant’s conduct.
You could also tie it to another party’s negligence. Then, the defendant can be held liable, and you can recover compensation for your personal injuries, medical treatment, etc.
Schedule a free consultation with the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers today. Our team can review the steps to proving causation, both proximate cause and actual cause in a personal injury case. Then, we can help you get maximum compensation by filing personal injury claims.
Two Parts to Causation in Personal Injury Cases?
The defendant’s liability rests on whether you can demonstrate that the defendant’s action was the only cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. However, causation in a personal injury claim has two parts.
First, you must prove cause in fact causation. In other words, can you show a direct link between the duty of care breach and the accident injuries to suggest the defendant caused it?
This is cause in fact causation according to the law. You need to gather evidence like testimony of expert witnesses and other evidence that the breach caused by the at fault party was the only cause of plaintiff’s injuries.
The second part of causation is proximate cause. Proximate cause means the duty of care breach was substantially connected to the accident injuries such that the defendant should be responsible.
The proximate cause test normally asks whether the injuries were a foreseeable result of the negligent person’s conduct. If so, then the plaintiff has passed the proximate cause test and can charge the defendant for his or her injuries in the claim.
Talk to an attorney for legal advice and a free consultation about your legal matter. A proper attorney client relationship can bring a negligence case and prove cause in fact causation and proximate cause. This can help the injured obtain the compensation they deserve under Illinois law.
Can More than One Party be Responsible for My Accident?
Yes, more than one party can contribute to and be legally culpable for your incident and injuries. Then, you can seek relief and recovery from either at your discretion.
This legal concept is known as joint and several liability. It allows plaintiffs to pursue compensation from one party among many for the entirety of their damages.
You may wish to choose one defendant over the other depending upon their availability, financial means, or other reason. You should consult an attorney before deciding which defendant to sue in court first.
What if I Contributed to the Accident?
In many states, like Illinois, you are still allowed to seek damages and compensation if you contributed to the accident so long as you were not more than fifty percent responsible for the events. In some states, the threshold is fifty-one percent.
Research the laws of your state to determine if you are prohibited from filing suit.
What Else Do I Need to Prove in my Case?
We have spent the foregoing sections analyzing how you need to prove causation in your claim. However, that is not the only part of your case.
There are four essential elements to your cause of action that you must plead and prove in full, including:
- Duty: What duty did the defendant owe you? For example, they may have owed you a duty not to harm you.
- Breach: Did the defendant breach that duty? For example, did defendants break that by crashing into you?
- Causation: Did the defendant cause your injuries? You need to show actual and proximate cause to succeed here on this third element.
- Damages: Did the defendant’s breach cause your damages? You can point to economic or non-economic harms and losses to make this point of your case.
A dedicated attorney can assist a person trying to make all of these elements in a lawsuit. Our law firm, the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, have experience making these cases in all practice areas.
Our Legal Team Can Make Your Case
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has brought many cases on behalf of injured victims and their families. Our team are experts in proving causation in personal injury litigation.
Talk to a member of our law firm in a free and no-obligation case evaluation today. We can review your injuries and discuss what you must prove to hold the defendant accountable for the accident.
Plus, since we work on contingency, our services are free if you do not get a settlement or award. Contact us now to get started at (888) 424-5757.