What is Personal Injury Causation?
Personal injury causation is an element in Maryland negligence cases. Negligence is composed of: (1) duty, (2) breach of duty, (3) causation, and (4) damages.
In order to prove your personal injury case, it’s important to understand what the jury is going to be told by the judge. That’s why I always return to the Maryland Civil Pattern Jury Instructions before every case. In fact, before a file a lawsuit I prepare my jury instructions and use them as a template to form the theme of my case.
Insurance adjusters and defense attorneys can argue the law with me all day long, but the same jury instructions are read to the jury in every personal injury case.
Here’s what the jury instructions say about personal injury causation:
Personal Injury Causation – Legal Explanation
“For the plaintiff to recover damages, the defendant’s negligence must be a cause of the plaintiff’s injury. . . .” (Maryland Civil Pattern Jury Instructions)
Personal Injury Causation – Attorney Ross W. Albers’ Explanation
This is commonly referred to as personal injury causation. If the defendant’s rule breaking behavior didn’t cause your injury, then you lose.
Generally, a medical expert is required to testify regarding the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. The plaintiff’s attorney will call the client’s treating physician and the insurance attorney will call a “hired gun.” Cross examining a paid insurance expert is a lot of fun because you get to dive into their financials and point out that they never treated the client.
The insurance defense attorneys like to add a word before personal injury causation: proximate cause. It’s an attempt to trick the jury into thinking that other things may have caused the client’s injuries. It’s a dirty move and one that I fight them on every time. I have yet to have a verdict sheet not say: “Was the defendant’s negligence a cause of the plaintiff’s injuries?”
I recently tried a personal injury case in Baltimore City Circuit Court where I proved causation without having a medical expert testify. There is case law that says if the cause of the injury is obvious, then you don’t need an expert. My case involved a broken toe and a taxi cab. I must admit, it’s a little nerve racking because if the judge rules that you need an expert and you don’t have one, then your case is over.
Schedule a Free Carroll County Personal Injury Consultation
The Law Office of Ross W. Albers is located in Westminster, Maryland. Carroll County Personal Injury Attorney Ross W. Albers is a former Maryland insurance adjuster that knows what you’re up against. If your injury has been caused by the negligence of another, then contact the Law Office of Ross W. Albers to schedule a free consultation.