Proving Causation in a Washington, D.C. Personal Injury Cases

Causation is an essential element in any Washington, D.C., negligence claim. This means that a successful plaintiff in a Washington, D.C. personal injury claim has to show that the defendant’s negligent actions were the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. The plaintiff has the burden of proving a causal relationship between the defendant’s actions and the plaintiff’s injuries. Proving causation means proving that there was “a direct and substantial causal relationship” between the defendant’s actions and the plaintiff’s injuries and that the harm was foreseeable. Proximate cause also involves considering the foreseeability of the harm that occurred and the scope of the risk created by the defendant’s actions. It aims to limit liability in circumstances where the link between the conduct and resulting harm is so attenuated that the consequence is pure luck. It is meant to limit liability in those cases where holding the defendant labile would be unfair or bad policy.

A plaintiff can prove causation by providing either direct or circumstantial evidence. Generally, proximate cause is a question of fact that must be resolved by the jury. The standard for proving causation, like other elements in a negligence claim, is whether it is more likely than not to have been the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. A plaintiff cannot simply show that it is a mere possibility that the defendant’s actions caused the plaintiff’s injuries. This means that in a Washington, D.C. injury claim, a plaintiff must point to the specific acts that the plaintiff claims were negligent and demonstrate how those specific acts, more likely than not, were the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. In accident cases involving multiple vehicles, proving causation can be more difficult.

Bicyclist killed in multi-vehicle crash in Northwest D.C.

According to one news article, a bicyclist was tragically killed in a multi-vehicle crash in Northwest D.C. on a recent Friday evening. Police reported that around 7:30 p.m., on Massachusetts Avenue near 2nd Street NW, a man was hit by a car while he was riding on his bike. Three other people were transported to a local hospital for injuries as well. Five vehicles were involved in the crash—three cars, an SUV, and a van. The bicyclist was riding a Capital Bikeshare bicycle and a reporter said that the cyclist’s helmet was on the ground about 10 feet away from the damaged bike. Authorities investigated the scene for several hours before opening up the area to traffic again.

Washington, D.C. Injury Attorneys

During this challenging time in your life, you should choose an attorney who can guide you through the legal process and provide you with competent counseling along each step of the way. Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers can help you assess your situation. We have provided legal representation to clients throughout the Maryland and Washington, D.C. regions for the last 20 years. Our dedicated personal injury lawyers have decades of experience handling all types of personal injury claims, including Washington, D.C. car accident cases. Call us today at (800) 654-1949 or contact us online to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.

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