Car accidents are as fun to think about as tax season is. Both are a necessary part of life and both occur often in life. If you are ever involved in a car accident and you sustain property damage or bodily injury, no matter how minor, your natural impulse is to file a lawsuit against the defendant. After all, he or she must be at fault. However, as the Car Accident Lawyer in Cambridge you hire will tell you, it is not always easy to establish the proximate cause (determine who was at fault) in a car accident. Read this article if you want to learn more about this!
Do you know what proximate cause and “cause in fact” mean?
Your lawyer will use the terms proximate cause and cause in fact often as he or she works with you to craft the lawsuit that will win the settlement you want in court. However, you may be a little lost in the process if you don’t know what these terms mean. Proximate cause is directly attributed to pure negligence on the part of the other driver. A good example would be if the other driver hit your car after he or she was drunk (it is common knowledge that drunk people can’t drive.)
However, if the driver of the other car swerved into your lane and hit you because he or she was trying to avoid hitting a road worker, the fault may not completely lie with him or her because he or she was trying to avoid an unforeseen and potentially fatal incident. In this instance, since all of the fault lies with the road worker, it is the road worker who would have proximate cause for your damages and injuries. Unfortunately, you will not be able to sue the road worker in court.
Determining proximate cause in a car accident
Any personal injury lawyer will tell you that this is easier said than done. This is especially true in accidents where more than one vehicle is involved. For example, a drunk driver carelessly veers into the lane of another driver. The other driver panics, slams on the brakes, veers into your lane and sideswipes your car. In this incident, the driver who hit you has more cause in fault than proximate cause because he or she was trying to avoid being involved in a potential accident with the drunk driver. Your lawyer will tell you that you can file a lawsuit in court against the drunk driver (third party) because he or she was entirely at fault for your car accident. If you understand the basics of personal injury law and you have good legal counsel, you will be able to understand and establish proximate cause in your lawsuit.