What Does Proximate Cause Mean in a Personal Injury Accident Case?

Every injury accident case has a cause, or even multiple causes, that led to the accident causing harm. Identifying what caused the accident is a vital aspect of pursuing legal remedy for an injury accident. A Corpus Christi personal injury lawyer offers the following informative article to define proximate cause, as well as to emphasize why proving proximate cause is often key towards seeking compensation for your injury.

In Latin, proximate cause is the “sine qua non” of the accident. Translated, that means that proximate cause is the event “that without which” an accident would not have happened. In other words, if Event A had not happened, then Event B would not have happened resulting in an accident causing injury. Proximate cause is neither the first event in a series of events leading to an accident, nor is it the most recent event in that same series that immediately preceded the accident, but it can be either or both of those events. Proximate cause is highly dependent on the specifics of the case, and since accident injury cases can happen in a wide variety of ways, proximate cause can sometimes be rather challenging to establish.

Hypothesized examples often help to elucidate such legal terms, so imagine if a pedestrian is struck by a car driver and the pedestrian suffers a broken leg. The proximate cause of the pedestrian’s injury is the car driver’s reckless driving, whether the recklessness was caused by texting, the sun, or even a simple moment of inattention. In the simplest of accident cases, the pedestrian would not have sustained any injuries had not the driver been driving carelessly. As such, the pedestrian could seek compensation through a Tyler personal injury claim from the driver for their negligence that resulted in their broken leg.

However, by adding one detail to the example above, another proximate cause can be added to the accident. If the car driver that struck the pedestrian was drunk when the accident occurred, the alcohol-serving establishment, at least in Texas and some other states, could be considered a proximate cause of the accident if they can be proven to have been negligent in their legal duty for their patron’s safety of the safety of the general public. In other words, had not the bartender over-served the driver to the point of inebriation and allowed them to leave the bar while intoxicated, the driver would likely have not not crashed into the pedestrian, and the pedestrian would not have suffered a broken leg. In this instance, the alcohol-serving establishment could be an additional defendant in this particular accident injury case because they were also a proximate cause of the accident.

Successful personal injury accident cases must have at least one defendant that is a proven proximate cause of the accident. Many personal injury accident cases will likely have more than one proximate cause of the accident, which is usually only found out after a thorough investigation has been made into the accident site by a Midland accident injury lawyer. By ensuring that all parties that were a proximate cause to your accident are held accountable for their negligent actions, you can likely ensure a greater likelihood of receiving compensation, as well as the greater possibility that the people or entities responsible for the accident will be much less prone to causing further misfortune to others.