Can I ask for damages if I injured myself loading/unloading a truck to take it in for repairs after being rear-ended?

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Can I ask for damages if I injured myself loading/unloading a truck to take it in for repairs after being rear-ended?

I am a self-employed mechanic and while working 8 months ago, I was rear-ended on the freeway in my work truck. After arrangements were made to have truck repaired, it was necessary to remove the heavy equipment from the truck for repairs. While doing this I ruptured the bicep in my right arm. This resulted in 2 surgeries and 7 months off work. This would have never happened if not for the accident. Am I entitled to ask for damages?

Asked on December 7, 2016 under Personal Injury, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't sue anyone for damages for this. The party who rear ended you is not responsible three reasons:
1) A party who causes a car accident is only liable for the "reasonably foreseeable" (think: logically predictable; likely; etc.) outcomes of the accident. Someone rupturing a bicep while moving their own heavy equipment is NOT a reasonably foreseeable outcome of a car accident.
2) There was an intervening or supervening cause after the car accident: your own actions in moving the equipment. That subsequent act by another person (you) breaks the causal chain from the car accident. It is like if Bob sets up a ladder for me to climb, then while I'm on the ladder, Tim pushes it over; I can't hold Bob liable for not securing the ladder better when there was independent act after that, Tim pushing it, causing my injuries.
3) If you moved a too-heavy to lift safely piece of equipment by yourself, rather than getting help, using a lift or winch or ramp, etc., then the injury was likely due to your own negligence, or carelessness. You cannot recover from others due to your own negligent action.


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