Causation is the legal term used to describe the relationship between two or more events in a personal injury case. When proving causation, the plaintiff’s attorneys will link an injury and the defendant’s actions or negligence. For example, to claim emotional damages from an accident, attorneys must show that you suffered some mental anguish due to the defendant’s actions. This portion will discuss how to prove causation for injuries that are not immediately evident, such as emotional damages or those inflicted by toxic substances.
- What Is Causation?
Causation includes the set of events that lead to an injury. Proving causation is critical in a personal injury case because it can decide who is liable for paying damages and in what amounts. Causation is the psychological connection between a specific action, event, or condition and another. For example, smoking causes lung cancer but does not cause lung disease. This section aims to make a clear link between two events that are only sometimes readily apparent in an accident case.
Causality can be pretty simple to prove when injuries are immediately apparent in an accident case. For example, if one was driving on the wrong side of the roadway when rear-ending you or struck your gas tank while it was partially empty, causation will be clear-cut in most cases. Some professionals like Rosensteel Fleishman, PLLC of Charlotte can also help you prove causation.
- Damages Available in a Personal Injury Case:
There are several types of damages available in a personal injury case. The following list details the four main categories of damages:
1. Economic Damages
Economic damages include the costs to fix or replace damaged property and medical bills. For example, if a drunk driver rear-ends you on the way home from work, your car will be totaled, and you will also have medical bills resulting from your injuries. It is an example relatively straightforward form of economic damage.
2. Emotional Damages
Emotional damages are something many personal injury victims do not anticipate and can sometimes become a stumbling block during the settlement process for this reason alone. Emotional damages are those that stem from the defendant’s actions or negligence. It is an example of emotional damage if a defendant has caused you great mental distress. Emotional damages are also comparable to the pain and suffering you might experience if you were injured in an accident.
3. Punitive Damages
In some states, state law imposes punitive damages on personal injury cases if specific guidelines are not followed. Punitive damages can range from $2000 to $100,000 depending on the compensation (in some states) an individual receives per case and the discipline imposed on a dangerous driver who causes an accident while drunk.
4. Nominal Damages
Nominal damages are a small, symbolic amount of money that is awarded in personal injury cases. These are typically applied in cases where the plaintiff does not seek emotional damages due to driving away from the accident scene or in other forms of emotional distress. Nominal damages are typically applied to insignificant claims or when the plaintiff only seeks compensation for a certain amount of dollars. In addition, minor damages might be awarded when the defendant’s actions were deliberate but not enough to warrant more significant compensation.
This article discussed the significant aspects of proving causation in a personal injury case. It is the most critical aspect of an individual injury case; without it, a reasonable attorney may have difficulty receiving compensation for your injuries. Unfortunately, in some states, attorneys must only prove that their client’s injuries were due to someone else’s unreasonable actions or negligence to pursue compensation on their behalf.