Trucking Wreck - Proximate Cause

Truck Wreck Lawyer Austin Texas

Nov 24, 2012 — by Jeff Mundy
Tags: Car Wreck

To prevail on a common law negligence claim, a plaintiff must plead and prove that the defendant's negligence was the proximate cause of the injury.  To establish proximate cause, a plaintiff must prove foreseeability and cause in fact. The test for cause in fact is whether the negligent act or omission was a substantial factor in bringing about the injury, without which the harm would not have occurred. Id. Cause in fact is not shown if the defendant's negligence did no more than furnish a condition that made the injury possible; that is, even if the injury would not have occurred but for the negligence, there is no legal cause if the connection between the negligence and the injury is too attenuated or remote. 

"The evidence must go further, and show that such negligence was the proximate, and not the remote, cause of the resulting injuries [and] justify the conclusion that such injury was the natural probable result thereof." An injury is the natural probable result of a defendant's conduct and thus a substantial factor in bringing about the injury if a reasonable person would "regard it as a cause, using that word in the popular sense, in which there always lurks the idea of responsibility . . . ." Lear Siegler, Inc. v. Perez, 819 S.W.2d 470, 472 (Tex. 1991), quoting Restatement (Second) of Torts § 431 cmt. a (1965).

 In so doing, we are mindful that there may be more than one proximate cause of a plaintiff's injuries and that the issue of proximate cause is usually a question of fact to be resolved by a jury. 

... pursuant to state and federal regulations, a commercial driver has a legal obligation to place reflective warning devices behind a vehicle parked on the shoulder of a roadway as quickly as possible, but no later than ten minutes after parking. These devices are intended to warn motorists that a commercial vehicle is parked ahead on the shoulder. Had the triangles been in place as required, Mallory believed the accident would have not occurred because Elrod would have known where the rig was parked and would have known not to swerve onto the shoulder when trying to avoid a collision with the pick-up truck.

Homeland Express LLC v. Seale, (Tex. App. - El Paso, 2012).

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