Proving Causation in Car Accident Cases Based on Negligence

January 21, 2016

Proving causation in car accident cases comes hand in hand with being a South Carolina personal injury attorney. It sounds like a really easy standard to prove; a driver breaches the duty of care, causes a car accident, and damages the other car and/or injures the other person. Sometimes it is easy to prove, as well. Sometimes, however, causation can be extremely difficult to prove. This is especially true in car accident cases that involve multiple cars, and in car accident cases where pre-existing conditions are aggravated.

Multiple-Car Accidents

You have seen rear end collisions that stretch for miles, and multi-car pileups where, as a result of fog, inattention, or other weather conditions, everyone who approaches joins the accident. In cases where there are many parties involved, the causation issue becomes extremely complex, with the lawyers trying to prove who caused what injury at what point. By way of example, say Driver A rear-ends Driver B at a red light, and as a result, Driver B’s neck is whipped back and forth, while the car is pushed into the intersection. Driver C was not paying attention to this because he was texting, so he slams into Driver B when Driver B’s car rolls into the intersection. In this scenario, it is not entirely clear which car caused the subsequent neck injury suffered by Driver B, and the argument will focus on causation. This same type of strategy is used in multi-car pileups. These situations can lead to insurers shirking their duties and refusing to pay, blaming another driver for causation as justification.

Aggravating a Pre-Existing Condition

Many people who are injured in car accidents have a prior history of either neck or back surgery, degenerative disc or joint disease, or arthritis. The at-fault driver’s insurer will often argue that medical treatment obtained after an accident by the injured person is not related to driver negligence, but instead a natural progression of the preexisting condition. While more conservative juries will sometimes use this type of logic as justification for refusing to pay, an at-fault driver may still be liable in court, whether he or she caused a new injury or aggravated an old one. Insurance companies walk a fine line when they refuse to provide coverage on this ground, as they do not want to be in violation of South Carolina claims handling practices, and having an experienced attorney on your team discouraging the insurance company from doing so can go a long way towards providing you peace of mind.

David Aylor Law Offices Can Help You

The car accident attorneys at David Aylor Law Offices believe wholeheartedly that all car accidents should be covered by insurance, and insurance companies should not be allowed off the hook in cases of multi-car pileups and the aggravation of preexisting conditions. We offer a free consultation and will pursue your case in a self-assured yet cost effective manner, to reduce your financial burden and help you recover the damages to which you are legally entitled. Call or email us now, and let us see how we can help you.

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