What Must You Show to Prove Negligence?
In our last blog, we looked at the standard of care in a personal injury lawsuit, examining the requirement that an injured person show that the defendant failed to act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances. That’s the first components of a successful personal injury claim. The plaintiff (person seeking monetary compensation for losses) must then show that the breach of the standard of care (the failure to act as a reasonable person) caused an accident that resulted in actual losses.
How Do You Show that Someone Caused an Accident?
Under long-established principles of personal injury law , there are two types of causation that an injured person must prove: actual cause and proximate cause.
Actual cause, also known as “but for” cause, requires that the injured person show that the accident would not have happened if the defendant (person from whom compensation is sought) would have engaged in “reasonable” behavior. For example, if the defendant had been travelling at the speed limit, had looked both ways before turning, or had properly maintained his or her property, the accident never would have occurred.
Proximate cause seeks to limit the consequences of careless behavior by making a defendant responsible only for those losses that were “reasonably foreseeable” as a consequence of negligence. A defendant won’t be held accountable for absolutely every loss that can be remotely tied to his or her carelessness. The determination of whether an accident was “reasonably foreseeable” will be determined by the jury, on a case-by-case basis.
Contact the Cintron Firm
At the Cintron Firm, LLC, we offer more than 14 years of experience to people in New Jersey facing a broad array of legal challenges. Attorney Mark Cintron has worked as a prosecutor and has extensive courtroom experience, so he’s always ready, willing and able to protect your interests before a judge or jury. Contact our office online or call us at 201-791-1333 or (201) 535-0323 to set up an appointment.