A superseding cause is an event or person which interferes with the sequence of events leading from the defendant’s negligent act to the plaintiff’s injury. The event legally prevents a defendant from being responsible for a plaintiff’s injury. It doesn’t matter if the defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s injury.
Can I Claim the Plaintiff Was the Superseding Act that Interfered with My Liability?
Yes, a defendant can claim the plaintiff was the superseding event that interfered with liability. A defendant can claim the plaintiff made the initial injury worse by doing something. For instance, a plaintiff twisted her ankle when she fell on the defendant’s premises. She didn’t seek medical attention. Later that day, she broke the ankle when she fell at a friend’s house. The second fall would be a superseding event.
How Do I Prove the Intervening Conduct Wasn’t a Superseding Event?
A plaintiff must prove three things for a defendant still be liable for the injury suffered:
- The intervening conduct wasn’t a legal cause of the plaintiff’s injury
- The superseding act wasn’t intentionally harmful
- The injury wasn’t outside the scope of risk created by the defendant’s negligent act
Should I Contact an Attorney about Superseding Cause?
It’s in your best interest to contact a personal injury attorney about superseding cause. It’ll help you understand your case better and possible outcomes.