CT Accident Case Proximate Cause Superseding Cause

Posted by Richard P. Hastings | Nov 10, 2011 | 0 Comments

In an instant, your Bridgeport, Connecticut motorcycle accident changes everything.  Your life is suddenly put on hold.  You are in constant pain, you have mounting medical bills and you cannot work.  Where do you turn and what do you do?  Our firm has been helping people like you for decades.  You get better and we will handle everything else.

How does the jury decide who is at fault? What percentages of fault each party is responsible for? And most importantly, what damages are to be awarded to the plaintiff? Prior to the jury starting deliberations, the judge will charge or give instructions to the jury. Once such charge might address the issue of superseding cause and could include the following directive:

 Proximate Cause - Superseding Cause .  A superseding cause is any intentionally harmful act, force of nature, or criminal event, unforeseeable by the defendant, which intervenes in the sequence of events leading from the defendant's alleged negligence to the plaintiff's alleged injury and proximately causes that injury.  Under our law, the intervention of such a superseding cause prevents the defendant from being held liable for the plaintiff's injury on the theory that, due to such superseding cause, the defendant did not legally cause the injury even though (his/her) negligence was a substantial factor in bringing the injury about.  Therefore, when a claim of superseding cause is made at trial, the plaintiff must disprove at least one essential element of that claim by a fair preponderance of the evidence in order to prove, by that standard, its own conflicting claim of legal causation. The plaintiff can meet this burden by proving either 1) that the conduct claimed to constitute a superseding cause did not occur as claimed by the defendant, either because it did not occur at all or because it was not engaged in with the intent to cause harm; or 2) that such conduct was foreseeable by the defendant, in that the injury in question was within the scope of the risk created by the defendant's conduct; or 3) that such conduct was not a substantial factor in bringing about the plaintiff's alleged injury. These, of course, are questions of fact for you to determine based on the evidence.  Keep in mind, however, that the defendant does not have any burden to prove the existence of a superseding cause. The burden at all times rests upon the plaintiff to disprove the defendant's claim of superseding cause as a necessary part of (his/her) proof that the defendant legally caused the plaintiff's injury.

 Before you hire a Connecticut lawyer, speak to an insurance adjuster, or sign any paperwork, visit us at www.hcwlaw.com to get a copy of our FREE book "The Crash Course on Personal Injury Cases in Connecticut".

About the Author

Richard P. Hastings

Attorney Hastings concentrates his practice on personal injury and litigation. Devoted to helping those who have suffered some type of wrong, Richard P. Hastings concentrates his law practice on personal injury law.


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