At first glance, the causes of most accidental injuries seem obvious to many people, but this is certainly not always the case. A tragic story in the Las Vegas Review-Journal about a 13-year old Nevada girl who committed suicide after being bullied illustrates how state laws can complicate a case.
By Nevada state law, the school was responsible for notifying parents about a known bullying incident, but failed to do so. Thus, the uninformed parents were unable to prevent the suicide. They chose to sue the school for the wrongful death of their daughter. In Nevada, this legal case has a good chance of success. But if the same set of circumstances occurred in Tuscaloosa or elsewhere in Alabama, local personal injury lawyers would potentially face certain legal challenges.
Two Concepts Apply When Determining the Cause of an Accident
Before determining whether someone’s negligence caused an accidental injury, injury lawyers need to establish a connection between the person’s actions and the accident. This requires proving two things under the law:
Attorneys Turn to Alabama State Law to Develop a Case
The concepts of cause in fact and proximate cause are the same in any state. However, the laws that affect these concepts differ substantially throughout the country. It is vital to carefully analyze all underlying laws to prove liability.
In the bullying story, Nevada state law requires schools that are aware of bullying incidents to notify parents, and the school failed to meet that responsibility. That failure might be construed as proximate cause because informed parents might be more watchful and take appropriate action to prevent the suicide. That argument might not be effective under Alabama law, which requires victims or their parents to notify the schools, rather than the other way around. This does not mean personal injury lawyers could not help file a successful claim, but they would need to approach it based on the unique laws of the state.
With Experienced Legal Support, It is Possible to Seek Justice
Anyone who sustains injuries or loses a loved one due to the negligent acts of others should never assume that state laws will prevent them from seeking justice for their loss. Even when state law seems to stack the cards against victims, skilled personal injury lawyers know how to analyze all laws to help establish solid evidence of liability.
Fraternity Injury Liability, Tuscaloosa Personal Injury Blog
"We realize there are many options for representation out there, and we talked with several of the "big names" before finding Cross and Smith. With the others, it felt like we were being bullied, in a tank with hungry sharks. We are still receiving junk mail from some. We are SO thankful we were referred to Justin Smith (Cross and Smith) for our accident claim. He and his team were absolutely amazing."