When you are hurt in an auto accident, identifying the person or persons liable for your injuries is important for your insurance claim and/or legal case. Some car accidents are straightforward and determining who is at fault is obvious — the defendant ran a red light and t-boned you. However, some car accident cases are more complex, involve multiple drivers, and are triggered by a chain of events. Ultimately, you need an experienced attorney to help you determine the proximate cause of the accident so that you can recover the damages you need to move on with your life.
What is proximate cause?
The phrase ‘proximate cause’ refers to the act, or lack of act, that was the legal cause of the accident — a driver ran a stop sign and hit you; failed to yield; swerved into your car; rear-ended your vehicle. In all of these scenarios, the defendant’s action (or inaction) was the direct cause of the accident. However, what if the defendant swerved into your car to avoid being hit by a drunk driver? In this scenario, the drunk driver was the proximate cause and the defendant who swerved into your car was the “cause-in-fact” of your injury. An experienced car accident attorney can assess your case, and determine if the proximate cause and cause-in-fact are one and the same, and help you file a claim for rightful compensation.
Determining proximate cause for a car accident
To determine the proximate cause of a car accident, first your lawyer must establish the elements of negligence:
- The defendant had a duty of care to avoid harming you
- The defendant breached this duty of care through negligence
- Because of the breach of duty, you suffered injury.
- The defendant’s negligent act or inaction was the proximate cause of your injury
Proving proximate cause in a car accident comes down to identifying all parties involved, determining the action that caused your injury, and then determining if that action was caused by someone else, or simply the defendant’s carelessness.
Experienced Bronx accident lawyers fights for your rights
The Law Offices of Evan W. Kohn provides personalized guidance throughout every stage of the personal injury claims process in NYC. If you are injured by a negligent driver in the Bronx, call 718-409-5500 or contact us online to speak with a skilled accident lawyer today.