The Only Witness
Q: In the City, my mother was walking on the sidewalk abutting a vacant lot and fell. A lady saw this happen. Although a car was in front of the lady, and she was able to see my mother only from the waist up, the lady was able to identify the exact spot where the accident occurred.
The lady worked in a strip mall that was located next to the vacant lot, and she was familiar with the area where the accident occurred. Using photographs which she authenticated, the lady stated that the accident occurred in a portion of the sidewalk that, for years, was broken up and in a state of disrepair.
A: At first glance, your case may seem to present a clash between two important principles of law. One, a plaintiff’s inability to identify the cause of his or her fall is fatal to a cause of action to recover damages for personal injuries because a finding that the defendant’s negligence, if any, proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries would be based on speculation. Two, proximate cause may be established without direct evidence of causation, by inference from the circumstances of the accident.
It sounds like your attorney can confidently put your mother’s case in the second category, of winnable cases. The witness’ testimony seems to be powerful enough to identify the cause of this tragedy.
By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial
The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.
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