Saturday, August 2, 2008

Proximate Cause - A Rarely Discussed Necessity

Columbus, Ohio. "But the car wreck/collision/accident wasn't my fault, why is the insurance company still not paying?" According to Attorney David A. Bressman, one of the least discussed, but most important, aspects of any personal injury case relates to "proximate cause." You simply cannot have the best results in your claim without successfully addressing this issue. It is NOT enough that the other person was at fault, you must show that the fault CAUSED you injury. For instance, if, after your accident, you are diagnosed with cancer, the likelihood is that the accident had no relationship to it. However, if you develop neck and pain immediately after an accident, then there is a high likelihood that it IS related. This is a much more complicated issue than can be addressed here but make sure you discuss causation with your lawyer, it may be the difference between getting your claim successfully resolved or getting nothing at all.

Here is an instruction that juries are likely to hear:

"1. A party who seeks to recover for injury must prove not only that the other party was negligent, but also that such negligence was a proximate cause of the injury.
2. Proximate cause exists where an act or failure to act, in a natural and continuous sequence, directly produces the injury and without which it would not have occurred.

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