When it comes to liability after an accident, there are several elements that a victim or family member in a wrongful death lawsuit has to prove. One of these elements is causation, and it is a big one. Without proving that the person you are suing caused the accident, there isn't much more to say. When it comes to an accident, there is often a chain of events or injuries that occur because of the accident but are not necessarily a direct result. What if it is raining and the roads are slippery. A driver reaches down to grab the cap from a water bottle that they dropped. They swerve across the center lane and another car is forced to swerve to avoid a collision. Their car strikes another car, and in that collision a hubcap comes loose and rolls across the road into oncoming traffic and another car is forced to swerve, and on and on. So how far away from the accident can we go before we say that the original actor is no longer culpable? A car accident recently occurred in Hackensack that is not quite as extreme as our example in the previous paragraph, but one that illustrates causation. Two women were killed when the car they were riding in hit a utility pole after colliding with another vehicle. For one woman, it wasn't the force of the collision that caused her death. It was a heart attack that she suffered shortly after. Questions that one might think of in this situation is whether the heart attack would have occurred but-for the accident. In some cases, the traumatic injuries suffered in a collision are too much for the body to handle. As the body tries desperately to cope with what just happened, it is too much stress for the heart to handle. Source: nj.com, "Women killed in Hackensack accident identified as Paramus, New Milford residents," Dan Ivers, Jan. 15, 2013 Proving causation is something that our law firm does every day for victims in northern New Jersey. To learn more about our practice, visit our auto accident page.