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Examples of Proximate Cause in a Personal Injury Case in Jacksonville, FL 

If you were injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you are not alone. Each year in Florida, thousands of people are hurt in accidents stemming from another person’s actions. In these situations, victims can pursue compensation from the other party to cover costs such as medical bills, lost income, property damage, and other items. First, you will need to demonstrate proximate cause between the negligent act and your injury. An experienced Jacksonville personal injury lawyer can help. 

What Are the Elements of Negligence? 

Personal injury cases in Florida require a plaintiff to prove four different elements that constitute negligence

  1. Duty of care. The defendant had some duty to others, including the victim, to exercise reasonable care and caution. An example would be a driver’s duty to follow traffic laws and drive carefully. 
  2. Breach of duty. The defendant failed to exercise their duty of care to others in some way. For example, someone driving through a red light has breached their duty to obey traffic signals. 
  3. Proximate cause. For this element, the plaintiff must show a causal connection between the defendant’s act and the plaintiff’s injuries. This element is often the most critical – and challenging – to prove. However, a skilled lawyer will use the facts and evidence to support a finding of proximate cause. 
  4. Damages. That the plaintiff was damaged in some way by the defendant’s acts. This is shown through actual costs like medical bills or testimony about a victim’s pain, suffering, and other types of damages

You may be entitled to compensation if you can establish all four elements by a preponderance of the evidence. 

What Is Proximate Cause?

Proximate cause refers to someone’s legal responsibility for another person’s injuries. For proximate cause to apply, the victim must show that a person or entity’s actions were a primary factor in causing the accident. If some other factor intervened or was a greater cause of the accident, proximate cause might not be proven in a lawsuit against the defendant. 

Proximate Cause in a Car Accident 

To give an example, if one car hits another because the driver was busy texting, proximate cause exists between the at-fault driver and the victim’s damages. However, if there was a multi-car pileup and a driver’s car was pushed into another’s, the proximate cause might be hard to prove or fail completely. 

Proximate Cause in a Slip and Fall Accident

Consider a shopper who falls on a pool of spilled liquid in a store. If the spill had sat for hours without any effort made to clean it up, the store owner’s breach of duty to clean spills in a timely manner could be determined as the proximate cause of the shopper’s injuries.

On the other hand, if another shopper had just sent the jar flying off the shelf moments before, and an inattentive shopper then slipped on the freshly spilled liquid, the chain of causation from store owner to customer is likely broken. 

How Does Proximate Cause Apply To My Case? 

In almost any personal injury case, proximate cause can become the most highly contested issue. Duty and damages are often straightforward. Whether a defendant breached their duty can be subject to argument. However, the proximate cause will depend on the evidence available and what both sides can prove (or disprove). 

Many different types of personal injury cases will involve disputes over proximate cause, such as: 

In these cases and others, there will be an injury that must be connected to the defendant’s actions. The at-fault party, their insurance company, and their lawyer will insist that the defendant was not responsible or that the plaintiff was more responsible than the defendant. 

Florida follows a comparative negligence standard in personal injury cases. What this means is that the plaintiff must prove the defendant was more than 50% responsible for the incident. If the plaintiff shared some responsibility, their damage award is reduced in proportion to their role. 

For example, if the defendant was found 60% responsible, the plaintiff can only obtain 60% of the total damages from the defendant. This is where proximate cause plays a crucial role under Florida law. You want to shift as much of the responsibility to the defendant as possible and convince a jury that proximate cause rests almost entirely on them. 

How Do You Prove Proximate Cause In a Personal Injury Case? 

Proving proximate cause in a Florida personal injury case depends on the evidence you have available. 

Proof can be established through various types of evidence, such as: 

  • Photographs from an accident scene;
  • Video surveillance from the site of an accident; 
  • Physical evidence from the accident site; 
  • Eyewitness testimony; 
  • Police report from the accident; 
  • Expert witness testimony; 
  • Accident reconstruction analysis provided by an expert; 
  • Digital evidence; 
  • Medical reports and bills 

Insurance companies and defense lawyers will fight the facts and dispute your evidence at every turn. What you need to prove proximate cause in your Jacksonville personal injury case is not just strong evidence but a skilled lawyer who can turn that evidence into results. 

Do I Need a Lawyer To Prove Proximate Cause In a Personal Injury Case? 

Experience counts when it comes down to proving proximate cause in your personal injury case. 

A lawyer’s work can include all of the following and more: 

  • Evaluating your claim 
  • Gathering the facts and evidence to support your claim
  • Negotiating with insurance companies
  • Preparing your personal injury claim for a lawsuit
  • Locating witnesses and experts to support your case
  • Filing necessary documents, motions, and other notices as part of your court case
  • Negotiating with the defendant’s attorney 
  • Preparing your case for trial
  • Taking your case to trial in front of a jury. 

A lawyer with a background in personal injury law will get to work for you right away and fight from start to finish. 

A Jacksonville Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Establish Proximate Cause 

Don’t wait to find out whether your claim might have enough evidence to prove proximate cause for your injuries. If you have medical bills and other costs mounting due to an accident that was not your fault, you have legal options. Contact a legal team to schedule your free consultation now. 

Contact the Jacksonville Personal Injury Law Firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers Today For Help

For more information, please contact the Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra personal injury law firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We serve Duval County, St. Johns County, and its surrounding areas:

Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Jacksonville
9471 Baymeadows Rd #105,
Jacksonville, FL 32256
(904) 396-1100

Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Downtown Jacksonville
121 W. Forsyth St. #170,
Jacksonville, FL 32202
(904) 822-4225

Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Ponte Vedra
480 Town Plaza Ave #130,
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32081
(904) 675-1167

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