Texas Court Examines Causation in Car Accident Cases

Car accidents are common in Texas, and while some people involved in collisions are fortunate enough to walk away unscathed, many sustain significant trauma. Regardless, it is not uncommon for defendants in car accident cases to argue that a plaintiff’s harm arose out of something other than the subject collision. Recently, in the case of Rankin v. Hernandez, the plaintiffs, Erica Hernandez, Delcia Saldana, and Chantay Solano (NO. 14-22-00565-CV), the Court of Appeals of Texas Houston (14th Dist.) discussed what constitutes sufficient evidence to establish causation in car accident cases. If you were hurt in a collision, you may be owed compensation, and you should talk to a Texas car accident about your possible claims.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiffs were involved in a car accident when they were rear-ended by a vehicle driven by the defendant. Following the accident, the plaintiffs sought medical treatment for neck and back injuries from a chiropractor. They subsequently filed a negligence lawsuit against the defendant, seeking damages for their injuries. The case proceeded to a jury trial.

Allegedly, the jury returned a verdict awarding a total of $143,000 in damages for the three plaintiffs. The defendant appealed, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to establish a causal relationship between the accident and the injuries claimed by the plaintiffs.

Evidence Sufficient to Establish Causation in Car Accident Cases

On appeal, the defendant contended that the expert testimony presented by the chiropractor who treated the plaintiffs was conclusory and inadequate to support the judgment. After reviewing the evidence, the court disagreed, finding that the chiropractor’s opinions were not conclusory but that they were supported by a factual basis.

 Specifically, the chiropractor provided detailed testimony about the examinations, diagnoses, and treatments he provided to each plaintiff, which included passive modalities, active rehabilitation, and manual therapy. The court also considered the medical records, MRI findings, and billing records admitted into evidence, which further substantiated the necessity and reasonableness of the treatments.

Additional testimony from the plaintiffs themselves about their pre-accident and post-accident conditions supported the causal link between the accident and their injuries. In sum, the court concluded that legally and factually sufficient evidence existed to show that the accident caused plaintiffs’ injuries, and thus, the judgment in their favor was upheld. The court, therefore, rejected the defendant’s challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence and deemed the jury’s findings to be reasonable. As such, the original judgment awarding damages to plaintiffs was affirmed.

Discuss Your Potential  Claims with an Experienced Texas Attorney Today

People who cause harmful collisions should be held accountable for any losses that arise out of their negligence, but many people named as defendants in car accident cases are reluctant to admit liability. If you were injured in a collision brought about by another person’s reckless driving, it is in your best interest to meet with an attorney to discuss your potential claims. Earl Drott is an experienced Texas attorney who can inform you of your rights and aid you in seeking the maximum damages recoverable. You can reach Mr. Drott for a free consultation through the online form or at 903-531-9300.

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