The Difference Between an Intervening and Superseding Cause in Florida

The great majority of cases involve negligent acts committed by third-party entities or persons. This includes cases such as car accidents, slip and falls, trip and falls, construction accidents, and much more. Regardless of the type of case, when negligence is the underlying cause of action, four elements must be present in order for an injured person to prevail: Duty, Breach, Causation, and Damages.

The critical issue of fault in a personal injury case usually comes down to proving that the defendant was negligent in connection with the underlying accident or incident. And as part of establishing the defendant’s negligence, the claimant must show that the defendant’s action (or inaction) was a proximate cause of the claimant’s injuries.

Because causation must exist for the defendant to face liability, a defendant may argue that an intervening cause broke the link between the defendant’s behavior and the plaintiff’s injury. The intervening cause must occur between the defendant’s negligent act and the plaintiff’s injury, and it must have caused injury to the plaintiff. Like an intervening cause, a superseding cause occurs between the defendant’s action and the plaintiff’s injury, and it is also responsible for the injury.

However, a superseding cause is also one that the defendant could not have reasonably foreseen. To relieve the defendant of liability, the intervening or superseding cause must be unforeseeable in most cases. However, three exceptions exist. First, a foreseeable intervening cause may still eliminate the defendant’s liability if the intervening cause was an intentional tort or action by another party. Similarly, a criminal act may intervene to relieve the defendant of liability even if the crime was foreseeable. Finally, a defendant may escape liability if a third person with the ability to fix the condition that will lead to injury sees the condition but does not fix it.

Let the personal injury attorneys at Suarez & Montero review the circumstances of your case and discuss your legal options. Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation in pursuing your claim and stand ready to protect your rights.

Contact us today at 786 Lawyers for a free consultation!

Jaime Suarez

An experienced legal personal injury defense professional in Miami, who is dedicated to helping accident victims with personal injury cases involving automobile accidents, brain and spinal cord injuries, slip and fall accidents, prescription errors, wrongful death, and accidents at work.