Sometimes, car accidents result from a chain of events that no one could possibly predict. More than one vehicle may be involved in a single accident, or one accident may lead to a second accident between different drivers. When accidents involve multiple vehicles, determining fault can be a difficult task. However, if you bring a negligence lawsuit against the drivers responsible for your harm, establishing causation will be a critical element of your case.
Recently, a local news article reported on a bizarre Indiana multi-vehicle accident. According to a preliminary investigation, the accident occurred on the highway as a Nissan SUV hydroplaned and struck a concrete barrier. Seeing the Nissan in the middle of the highway, the driver of a Lexus pulled over to assist the Nissan driver. As the Nissan driver walked across the roadway toward the Lexus, she was struck by a Ford driver swerving to avoid the crash scene. The Ford then struck the Lexus on the shoulder of the highway. The Nissan driver died from her injuries. The Lexus driver and two passengers suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Police later charged the Ford driver with Operating While Intoxicated (OWI).
How Can You Prove Causation in an Indiana Multi-Vehicle Accident?
Complex or unusual accidents can complicate issues of causation when bringing a negligence lawsuit. To hold a defendant liable for negligence, the plaintiff must prove that a defendant’s negligent behavior was the actual and “legal” cause of the accident. If the defendant can point to any superseding causes that provide an alternative explanation for the accident, they may be able to escape liability. Examples of superseding causes are another driver striking the victim or a repair shop’s failure to properly secure the defendant’s tires. To succeed on a negligence claim, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s actions caused the accident and disprove any other explanations the defendant may provide. Proving cause in fact and legal causation is key to recovering compensation for your harm.