Even where defendants admit that a crash was their fault, the plaintiff still have to prove that the crash CAUSED their injuries, disability and permanent impairment. As Herndon and Reston area brain injury lawyer Doug Landau points out, the disabled victim must still prove "proximate cause." That is, the crash must have been a cause of the harm to the innocent plaintiff, otherwise a Virginia Circuit Court judge will not allow a jury to decide on the amount of damages. The ABRAMS LANDAU crash injury lawyer points out that the plaintiff must prove fault AND causation in order to get the case submitted to the jury.
In a case that recently crossed Herndon injury lawyer Doug Landau’s desk, a retired school teacher suffered life-altering injuries in an automobile accident. The defendant admitted liability for the accident, but disputed the proximate cause of plaintiff’s injuries. The crash occurred when defendant, who was driving a pickup truck loaded with propane tanks, ran a red light and crashed into the vehicle plaintiff was driving. The injuries included a fractured femur and severe brain damage. The crash also caused the 57-year-old former school teacher to have a subdural hematoma in her left frontal lobe and had to have an emergency craniectomy. The left quadrant of her skull was removed due to brain swelling and she had to wear a helmet for two months until she could have cranioplasty. The plaintiff claimed her personality drastically changed and she suffered memory problems. While the defendant contested that his negligence was a cause of the plaintiff’s continuing disability, need for medial treatment and permanency, the parties agreed to a $3,500,000 settlement prior to trial.