In many personal injury cases, the question of who caused an injury can be complicated. In a car accident, for example, there may be several actors at play who contributed to an accident, and the victim may have previously experienced back or neck pain. Or a personal injury victim may later suffer another accident or injury, making it difficult to determine how much of her pain was caused by the initial injury. In these types of situations, determining causation can become tricky, as the Tennessee Supreme Court noted in a recent case involving causation in a truck pileup.
This Tennessee truck accident case resulted from a three-truck pileup that occurred in Shelby County, Tennessee. D.B. was working as a truck driver and driving his truck in July 2009 when he came upon significant traffic. D.B. slowed down and was able to come to a complete stop. However, H.F., who was also driving a truck for his employer, Celadon, was not able to stop in time and ran into the back of D.B.’s truck. As D.B. was recovering from that impact, a third truck driven by S.D., on behalf of his employer, Chickasaw, ran into the back of H.F., causing further damage to H.F. and D.B.’s trucks.
Although he did not initially believe he was injured, D.B. later began to suffer back and neck pain that increased in severity over time. He was ultimately forced to file a workers’ compensation claim and seek medical treatment. His neurosurgeon at the time found that he was suffering from a disc herniation and put him on reduced work. Eventually, D.B. was forced to stop working altogether. In 2010, D.B. filed a lawsuit against Celadon and Chickasaw, alleging that the accident with their vehicles caused his injuries.