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How proximate cause may affect a personal injury claim

On Behalf of | Oct 16, 2023 | Personal-Injury

If you invite guests to your home in Texas, you’re obligated to ensure their safety. If there are known hazards, you must warn them ahead of time. There are many situations in which you would have a similar duty of care, such as when you’re driving a car. You understand that certain behavior, such as speeding, places everyone nearby at risk. If you’re on the other end of the equation, meaning you suffer injury because of someone’s negligence, you can file a personal injury claim in civil court.  

Knowing that, if you do or don’t do something, it may cause someone injury is known as “proximate cause” in the legal industry. When you’re a plaintiff in a personal injury claim, you must prove that proximate cause existed at the time of your injury. This means that you must demonstrate evidence to show that the defendant should have reasonably expected that his or her behavior could place you in harm’s way.  

Additional elements must also exist to win a personal injury lawsuit 

In addition to proximate cause, you must convince the judge or jury that the elements shown in the following list also existed when the incident resulting in your injuries occurred:  

  • Defendant owed you a duty of care 
  • Defendant showed negligence in failing to fulfill the duty 
  • Defendant’s negligence was a causal factor to the incident in question 
  • Incident resulted in damages 

If the court determines that proximate cause did not exist, you will not be able to collect financial recovery for your losses.  

Proximate cause issues can be complex 

Establishing proximate cause isn’t always easy. For instance, the person who hit you while driving may have demonstrated negligence by texting behind the wheel. If you exited your vehicle in stormy weather after the collision and received an injury from debris blowing in the wind, it doesn’t necessarily mean the driver of the car that hit you is liable for the injuries the storm debris caused. The driver would not necessarily expect that texting while driving would cause flying debris to strike you in a storm.  

You must build a rock-solid case to win a victory in court for a personal injury claim. This includes making sure that you have what you need to establish the elements of negligence. The best way to do that is to rely on experienced litigation support. Most claimants ask personal injury attorneys to help them gather evidence, as well as speak and act on their behalf during proceedings.