Personal Injury:

Intervening Cause

In personal injury cases, the intervening cause comes between one act of negligent (or failure to act) and an injury by changing the natural and continuous series of events that follow.  When an intervening cause can be located, because it changes the natural progression of events, it may relieve the initial person who acted of his or her responsibility for an injury that is produced.  

An intervening cause must be unforeseeable, as must the possibility of injury, in order to relieve the defendant of strict liability.  It could be an act of negligence by another party, or an extraordinary event like a natural disaster.  For instance, if a school janitor leaves a dangerous solvent in a classroom, it might be considered a negligent act if a young student were injured by handling it. However, if a teacher threw the solvent against the wall in a bout of anger and a student were injured from the bottle rupturing, the janitor may not be held liable. The intervening cause could relieve him of responsibility for the injury.

Accident victims who have been injured should speak with a personal injury attorney to learn their legal rights. To contact a personal injury lawyer today, complete the free case evaluation form on the right.