Before receiving financial recovery for your injuries in a personal injury case, among other requirements, you’ll have to show that defendant caused your injuries. Showing causation may be simple in some cases, but in others it can mean the difference between full financial recovery for your injuries and receiving nothing.
Complicating matters in a Missouri personal injury case is the fact that there are two different types of causation that must be proved. In order to win your case, you’ll need to prove that the defendant was both (1) the “actual” cause of your injuries and (2) the “proximate” cause of your injuries.
Before you can recover for your injuries, your personal injury attorney must prove that the other person was the actual cause of your injuries. Actual cause is sometimes referred to as “but for” causation. To show that someone was the actual cause of your injuries, you will need to prove that without the other person’s negligent actions, you would not have had any injuries. If you would have experienced the same injuries without the other person’s actions, you will not be able to recover against them for your injuries.
The other type of causation that your St. Louis personal injury attorney will have to prove in your case is proximate cause. A person is the proximate cause of your injuries only if the injuries you suffered were a foreseeable result of their actions. As a straightforward example, serious injuries are the predictable result of driving your car straight at another person without hitting the brakes. But what if someone doesn’t intentionally drive straight at another person, but instead drives too fast for the icy road conditions, sliding off the road and hitting someone shoveling their driveway?
Although the situation isn’t quite as straightforward in this case, the driver is still the proximate cause of the other person’s injuries. Why? Because sliding out of control is a foreseeable consequence of driving too fast for conditions. In addition, when you’ve lost control of your car it is certainly foreseeable that it would travel off the road and strike someone near the road.
Keep in mind that proving causation is only one of the requirements that must be proved in a Missouri personal injury case. Consult with an aggressive, experienced St. Louis accident attorney to get the results that you deserve when you’ve been injured by another person’s negligence.