Q: I got burns when my coffee spilled on me after another drive side-swiped my car. The car accident itself didn't cause
any injuries but the coffee spillage did. Can I still sue that driver to get my medical bills paid?
A: Your question is relevant to the legal doctrine of "proximate cause". Simplified, the doctrine states that a negligent (at fault) party is responsible for all damages that are sufficiently related to the act or omission at issue. In your case, you would have to prove: (1) the other driver was operating his/her vehicle without due care; and (2) the burns from your coffee spill were sufficiently related to the other driver's failure. In your case, that should not be difficult. However, watch out for something called "contributory negligence". The other driver is entitled to argue that your injuries would not have occurred if you had been acting with due carei.e. not drinking your coffee while driving, or not paying attention to the road you
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