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The role of causation in a car accident injury case

If you get involved in a car accident and are diagnosed with an injury at the hospital, it’s easy to assume that you have a personal injury case. You want to sue the other driver.

You very well may have a case, but you need to understand the role of causation. It is one of the three parts of an accident case.

The three main elements of a case

While there are many elements to consider in a case, the three main factors are:

  • A duty that is owed
  • An act of negligence breaching said duty
  • An injury as a result of that negligence

Other drivers have a duty to drive safely to protect those around them. Driving negligently — texting and driving, for instance — can breach that duty by causing an accident. A person’s injuries, then, have to be traced back to the accident. In other words, causation means that the crash itself did in fact cause the injury.

For instance, maybe you have been diagnosed with a brain condition causing severe headaches. If you never had headaches before the crash and you suffered a blow to the head in the accident, it appears that the crash caused your condition. If you were already having headaches before the crash, though, while it may have made them worse, it’s harder to prove causation because you had a pre-existing condition caused by independent factors.

Working your way through the process

The final step is to seek damages based on the injury. As you work through this legal process, be sure you understand your rights.