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Explaining The Concept Of Superseding Cause

The Concept of Causation

Causation is one of the four elements that must be proved in order for a defendant in a Florida personal injury trial to be found negligent and therefore liable for the damages the plaintiff suffered. Causation is an extremely difficult concept even though it sounds simple. Basically, the plaintiff must prove that the injuries he or she suffered were caused by the negligence of the defendant.

Generally, this causal link must be one that’s foreseeable. For instance, if a person runs a red light and slams into a vehicle that’s legally moving through the intersection and a lawsuit follows, it would be foreseeable that the negligence displayed by running through the red light would cause the injuries that the plaintiff suffered. This represents the simplest type of causation analysis.

Superseding Causes Make Causation Analysis Difficult

However, there are certain Florida car accidents where a third actor or force is put into place that could not be foreseen by the defendant or those judging his or her conduct based on a negligence standard. In these situations, that third actor or force would supersede any prior fault incurred by the original actor and therefore make that third party or force potentially liable for the damages suffered by the plaintiff.

For instance, if that same defendant runs a red light but the plaintiff is able to avoid a collision but then collides with another vehicle that is carrying a load that’s improperly secured and falls on the plaintiff’s vehicle and injures him or her, that could be seen as a superseding intervening cause. Basically, the defendant could not have foreseen that the plaintiff would be injured by another party’s negligence in failing to secure the load. However, it’s also possible that the court will find both the person who ran the red light and the vehicle carrying the heavy load partially responsible for the damages suffered by the plaintiff as long as both parties were properly named to and included in the lawsuit.

As stated above, the concept of causation in Florida personal injury lawsuits resulting from car accidents is extremely difficult in certain situations. If you or someone you love has been injured in a collision that was not your fault but you’re not sure who should be held responsible, contact the Miami car accident lawyers at Bernstein & Maryanoff today to schedule a free initial consultation.