Similar prior accidents may be admissible at trial and may be compelling evidence to prove liability in your case according to personal injury lawyer Brien Roche. This evidence of similar accidents provides a clear method of quantifying the type and degree of danger that is associated with the product or place, clearly demonstrates where the defect is and how it can cause injury and further may lay the foundation for a punitive damage award.
Prior Incidents and Liability
In some instances the attorney may not be able to find the precise defect that caused the injury. Evidence of prior accidents involving the same product or object are key to establishing foreseeability which is the basis for liability. The plaintiff has to prove that the danger of injury existed, that the defendant knew or should have known of the danger and that the defendant’s failure to protect against the danger was unreasonable.
This evidence of similar accidents is admissible not only to prove the danger but to prove that the defendant knew or should have known of the danger, to prove causation, to prove the failure to provide a warning.
The threshold requirement for the admissibility of this evidence of prior accidents is that the prior accident is the same or substantially similar in circumstance to the one in this case and that it involved the same or similar product or object.
This type of evidence is not necessarily just limited to prior incidents. Evidence of similar incidents occurring after the plaintiff’s injury may also be admissible again on the theory that it establishes dangerousness or a defective condition.
Look no further than Brien Roche for all of your Northern Virginia personal injury litigation needs.
See prior accidents for a review of Virginia case law on this subject