Connection Between Accident and Injury Cases In Louisiana

In a personal injury suit, the plaintiff bears the burden of proving the causal relationship between the accident and any alleged injuries. American Motorist Ins. Co. v. American Rent-All, 579 So. 2d 429 (La. 1991); Chambers v. Graybiel, 25,840 (La. App. 2d Cir. 6/22/94), 639 So. 2d 361, writ denied, 94-1948 (La. [Pg 3] 10/28/94), 644 So. 2d 377; Harig v. State, Bd. of Elementary & Secondary Education, 25,702 (La. App. 2d Cir. 3/30/94), 635 So. 2d 485. A claimant's disability is presumed to have resulted from the accident, if before the accident he was in good health, but commencing with the accident the symptoms of the disabling condition appear and continuously manifest themselves afterwards, providing that the medical evidence shows a reasonable possibility of a causal connection between the accident and the disabling condition. Housley v. Cerise, 579 So. 2d 973 (La. 1991); Harig, supra. Whether the accident caused the plaintiff's injuries is a question of fact which should not be reversed absent manifest error. Housley, supra; Chambers, supra; Harig, supra. In reviewing whether a trial court's factual findings are manifestly erroneous, an appellate court does not question whether the trier of fact was right or wrong, but whether the conclusion was a reasonable one. Stobart v. State, DOTD, 617 So. 2d 880 (La. 1993). Reasonable evaluations of credibility and reasonable inferences of fact should not be disturbed on review where conflict exists in the testimony. Stobart, supra; Rosell v. ESCO, 549 So. 2d 840 (La. 1989). If the trial court's findings are reasonable in light of the record reviewed in its entirety, an appellate court may not reverse, even if convinced that it would have weighed the evidence differently. Stobart, supra; Housley, supra.