Personal injury lawsuits require the demonstration of specific types of proof in order to be successful. Every year millions of people are injured, and in many of these cases, someone else’s negligence was the cause. People who have been personally injured in an accident have the right to seek compensation for their harm from the responsible party. This is done through bringing a personal injury lawsuit and subsequently proving that someone else was the direct or proximate cause.
What Is Proximate Cause?
Proximate cause is a legal term that is used to refer to direct cause. In other words, this term refers to an act or omission that causes an injury as a natural but unintended consequence. In other words, without the negligent act, damage, injury or destruction would not have occurred. The act and the loss must be directly tied with no other interference. Causation is a necessary element of a negligence claim or personal injury case, and it can be tricky to prove.
What Is Negligence?
Negligence is based on the idea that people should use reasonable care in their actions, so that they do not cause foreseeable harm. For a successful negligence claim, plaintiffs must establish that the defendants owed them a duty of care, and they failed to exercise the required duty of care. This failure is the proximate cause of the injury.
The Test of Foreseeability
When considering fault in a personal injury case, the court uses foreseeability as the leading test to determine proximate cause. Foreseeability examines whether the person causing the injury should have reasonably foreseen the general consequences that resulted from their actions. The law limits the scope of liability based on the foreseeability of the type and manner of the harm, but not the extent.
Once the duty of care is established, the plaintiff’s attorney must establish exactly how the defendants violated that standard of care. What did they do or not do that made their conduct unreasonable in the circumstances? If the plaintiff’s own conduct played a role in causing his or her injury, then compensation must be reduced by an amount equal to the percentage of his or her role in the injury. Some states, however, follow a system known as contributory negligence. In that case, if plaintiffs are found to be even 1 percent to blame in the accident, they cannot collect any damages.
As you can see, proving fault in a personal injury case is a highly complex process that requires the assistance of an experienced attorney. In Idaho, the lawyers of Montgomery Dowdle Law Offices have been helping injured clients for more than 35 years. Contact them today for assistance with your personal injury case.