Is it possible to prove “fault” even though an autopsy report states that the person who caused and accident died of blunt trauma with traces of heart disease?

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Is it possible to prove “fault” even though an autopsy report states that the person who caused and accident died of blunt trauma with traces of heart disease?

The person’s insurance agency claims that their person was passed out or had a heart attack which caused him to cross the center line. “Blunt trauma and traces of heart disease” does not mean he had a heart attack. The problem in this situation is that it was never really determined that the driver who caused the accident was “at fault”. The driver injured should have an opportunity to prove fault because “blunt trauma and traces of heart disease” is not saying the driver who caused the accident had a heart attack. Is this right?

Asked on April 19, 2014 under Accident Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is possible to prove fault in the case you describe, but would likely require--in addition to the injured person's own testimony about what he/she did and saw--1) medical testimony (e.g. from a medical examiner or other forensic physician) to review the autopsy and provide an explanation for what happened, the timing of injuries or heart damage vis-a-vis the accident, etc. and 2) other expert testimony, such as from an accident reconstruction specialist, who can take all the testimony and medical data and propose sound theories as to how the accident occured and who was at fault. So the answer is, yes, it's possible, but it may not not be easy and will likely not be cheap, because expert testimony is likely necessary.


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