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Two accidents in one night culminate in Louisiana man's death


Louisianans probably do not try to predict if and when they will be in involved in an accident. It is even more unlikely that they imagine that they might be involved in two car accidents in a given day. Still, nothing is impossible and being ready to respond to such unbelievable possibilities is essential.

A 61-year-old man from Sulphur had such an unbelievable day this month. The events unfolded on the early morning of a typical weekday. The man was traveling on I-10 and somehow veered off the road in his vehicle. This initial car collision appears to have been a single-car accident.

The events quickly escalated. The man apparently left the scene of the first accident and began walking in one of the outside lanes of the highway. He was then struck and killed by another Louisiana driver. The accident investigation remains ongoing.

While such incidents seem unlikely, they nevertheless occur and it is important to consider how to respond to such a traumatic auto accident. For instance, the loved ones of a person killed after being struck by an auto may consider filing a negligence suit against the driver.

In determining whether to file such a claim, it will be important for the family to identify and prove the different elements of their case. One element that will be a major focus of such a case is causation. There are two types of causation: cause-in-fact and proximate cause. A plaintiff must establish both in a negligence case.

To satisfy the cause-in-fact element, a plaintiff must show that the defendant's actions caused the injury at issue in this case. Here, the plaintiff would have to show that the other driver caused the man's death.

In contrast, proximate cause focuses on a different issue. Proximate cause examines whether the defendant should actually be held responsible for the injuries or death. A defendant is only responsible for reasonably foreseeable harms. In the case at bar, the defendant may attempt to argue that it was unforeseeable that a pedestrian would be wondering up from another single-car accident on the highway in the early morning. Thus, the unusual facts of the recent I-10 incident will likely play a significant role in ultimately resolving any litigation that unfolds.

Source: wwltv.com, "Man walking away from one accident, struck and killed by passing car," Sep. 4, 2013

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