How Foreseeability Plays A Role In A Personal Injury Case

The ability of a certain individual to foresee the consequences of his or her actions can be used to prove or disprove a personal injury case. The search for such ability represents a search for causation.

Personal injury is about negligence.

Negligence refers to behavior that is careless and neglectful. Sometimes the responsible party has neglected to make an effort to foresee the consequences of his or her actions. That absence of foreseeability then cases the plaintiff/victim to get harmed.

What is the meaning of a foreseeable event?

It is probable. It is predictable. It does not have to be something that has been forecast or predicted in a printed or oral statement. The legal system focuses on the existence of foreseeability, not the extent of that particular ability.

How might a defendant in a personal injury case be affected by the extent to which a given consequence was foreseeable?

The defendant cannot predict the full extent of the harm that might be caused by a given action. Still, the defendant remains liable for the full extent of the harm. For instance, suppose that the treatment for a given accident-related injury were to involve the completion of a surgical operation. Suppose then that some part of the patient’s body became infected during that same operation. The defendant in that personal injury case could be held responsible for the infection-related complications.

True, a defendant would not be able to foresee the full extent to which a given injury might morph into a series of medical problems. Yet, the legal system does not remove the defendant from liability for the added problems. The defendant must face the consequences of his or her actions.

How foreseeability might be introduced as part of the defense strategy?

If a defense lawyer were to learn that an injured plaintiff had a pre-existing condition, the same attorney might allege that the plaintiff should have foreseen the possible risks linked to a specific action. For instance, that Personal Injury Lawyer in Mississauga might claim that the plaintiff should have worn 2 seat belts, when riding in a car.

That tactic would represent an effort to make the plaintiff appear partly at-fault for his or her injuries. In order to counter that tactic, the plaintiff’s lawyer would need to underscore a provision in the law. According to that provision, every defendant must take his or her victim as that same victim has been found.

When was the victim found? Victims are found on the day of a given accident. A defendant must accept any victim’s condition on that particular day. The foreseeability argument attempts to by-pass that requirement. Defendants can be held responsible for unexpected medical problems, beyond those caused by complications.

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