Proving Causation in Your Louisiana Auto Accident Injury Case

If you’ve been injured in an accident that was the fault of another driver, there’s a lot that goes into obtaining a successful outcome in court and recovering the compensation you deserve. You not only have to prove that the other driver was negligent, but also that you suffered injuries that were the result of that accident. One Jefferson Parish driver’s personal injury case failed, not because the driver did not have injuries and not because the other driver wasn’t negligent, but because the jury did not believe that the driver’s injuries were caused by the accident, and the Louisiana Court of Appeal recently upheld that decision.

The lawsuit arose from an auto accident that occurred on the day after Thanksgiving 2010 in Jefferson Parish. Andre Stevenson was in a gas station parking lot, waiting to turn right onto Veterans Memorial Boulevard when a Chrysler driven by Sandra Serth slammed into a Nissan, which caused the Nissan to collide with Stevenson’s vehicle. Stevenson sought medical care for his injuries, and an MRI revealed two bulging discs in his neck and one torn disc in his back.

Stevenson sued Serth, along with her insurance company, for the neck and back injuries he alleged that he suffered as a result of the accident. Stevenson contended that Serth ran a red light before she struck the Nissan, and her negligence caused his injuries. At trial, Serth retained a doctor who testified that Stevenson’s disc problems were degenerative and likely happened over time, not as a result of the accident. The jury ultimately ruled that Serth was negligent, but that her negligence did not cause Stevenson to suffer any injury.

Stevenson appealed, but to no avail. The man argued that the jury was legally required to presume that the accident caused his injuries if he had a disabling medical condition and “the injured person was in good health prior to the accident, but shortly after the accident, the disabling condition manifested itself.” Since┬áStevenson testified that he had no neck or back pain before the accident, and he┬áhad significant neck and back pain after the accident, he claimed he was entitled to the benefit of that legal presumption of causation.

The problem for Stevenson was that the presumption that would place causation on Serth required “a disabling medical condition that manifested itself after the accident.” The jury’s verdict in Stevenson’s case made it clear that they concluded either that the man did not suffer injuries during the accident or did not have a disabling condition after the accident. Without a favorable finding by the jury in this regard, Stevenson was not entitled to the presumption.

Fighting to recover compensation for injuries you suffered due to someone else’s negligence involves many challenges. The other side likely will have many resources at their disposal. Don’t fight your case alone. Talk to the Louisiana injury attorneys at the Cardone Law Firm. Our injury attorneys have many years’ experience fighting for injured people and are ready to help you.

For your confidential consultation, contact us online or phone Cardone at 504-522-3333.

More Blog Posts:

Using Uninsured Motorist Coverage to Collect in Auto Accident Injury or Death Cases, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, Feb. 2, 2015

The Theory of Respondeat Superior, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, Jan. 9, 2015

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