The resolution of a personal injury case requires a determination of the party at-fault. Two key concepts affect the fault determination.
The concept of a foreseeable cause: Was the harm done to the victim foreseeable?
• Did the harm to the victim, flow in a foreseeable manner from the defendant’s negligent act?
• Had there been a superseding act, one that actually caused the harm?
• What are some examples of a harmful, superseding act?
• Acts of God
• Criminal acts
• Intentional torts
Was the extent of harm done to the victim foreseeable? Any person that has caused an injury can be held liable for the full extent of the harm.
The extent of harm might become greater, due to the presence of foreseeable causes, such as these: Actions of rescuers, ordinary negligence of health care providers, aggravations to injury, as caused by the victim’s poor condition.
The concept of proximate cause: Were the defendant’s actions the proximate cause for the harm that was done to the victim?
The defense team might showcase one or more possible alternative causes for the injury that gave rise to a personal injury claim. The Personal Injury Lawyer in St Thomas for the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s actions were the proximate cause of the injurious harm that was suffered by the lawyer’s client.
On March 29, 2021, some TV viewers got a lesson on the meaning of proximate cause. Laura Coates wanted to explain that concept to viewers of CNN. She postulated the existence of a man that had been killed by bullet to his heart. She also suggested the possible need for an autopsy, and the discovery that might be made during that same autopsy.
She urged the viewers to envision discovery of the fact that the victim of the gunshot wound had a case of inoperable cancer. If not killed by the defendant’s bullet, he would have eventually died of cancer. Still, that fact would not allow a defense attorney to claim that the defendant should not be blamed for the death of the unfortunate victim.
A bullet shot into the victim’s heart had been the proximate cause for his death.Clearly, the place and time of his death had been decided by a bullet, and not by a group of malignant cells. Naturally, the bullet did not leave the gun by accident; instead, the defendant had fired the gun. Consequently, a lawyer for the victim’s family could argue that the defendant’s actions had been the proximate cause for the harm that killed a loved member of that particular family.
Two key concepts guide determination of fault: the concept of foreseeable harm and the concept of proximate cause. Personal injury lawyers learn about both concepts.