It is known as the “but for” test. Would the damages have happened without the defendant’s actions? Again, it is perhaps easiest to convey the idea using a fact pattern. Assume the accused is traveling and is on his cellphone. Distracted by his cellphone, the defendant misses the red signal. As a result, he runs a red signal and hits someone. The person was hurt when the defendant ran a red signal.
So, what is the cause? In this case, one can track the defendant’s activities to identify what he may have done differently to avoid the collision. For example, he was distracted by his cellphone and not watching the road in front of him. If the defendant had been paying any attention, he would have seen the red signal and avoided the accident. So, why do people require proximal cause if causation is so accessible? If they keep going backward, anything may be a cause. For instance, if the defendant had remained home, the collision would not have occurred. Likewise, this accident would not have happened if the defendant had moved to another city years before.
Causation is a component of strict responsibility, carelessness, and deliberate wrongs. Causation has two facets. First, a tort has to be the actual cause of harm, meaning that specific conduct must have caused damage to another. In its basic form, causation is proved by showing that a tortfeasor’s conduct or omission caused the plaintiff’s harm. The question is whether the plaintiff’s injury would have happened “but also for” the defendant’s actions. If damageoccurred without the defendant’s behavior, no cause of action is founded, and no tort is committed. When many circumstances contribute to an injury, the party must prove that the tortfeasor’s activity contributed significantly to the harm.
Second, plaintiffs must show that a specific tort caused harm before responsibility is assessed. However, the word proximate cause has nothing to do with proximity or causality. Proximate cause restricts culpability to damages that are reasonably related to the defendant’s risk. Proximate cause assess for the predictability. If the defendant might as well have anticipated the tortious harm, they are accountable for the loss. If one could not reasonably foresee a danger…, there is no proximate cause and no culpability.
The plaintiff may receive damages for financial losses if duty, breach, and causation are shown in a tort case. The amount of damages depends on the kind of harm as well as the type of tort committed. Damages for tortious conduct come into four categories: bodily harm, personal property injury, actual property injury, and PUNITIVE DAMAGES.
The proximate cause of negligence is fairness. “An event that occurs due to carelessness or intentional unlawful conduct,” says the relative cause definition. However, it does not explain the distinction between natural and proximate causes. It is probably easiest to convey a fact pattern.
Let us use the same data as before. The defendant runs a red light, collides with another car, and injures the driver. However, the plaintiff’s car crashes with a light post, falling and hitting a building. The house catches fire and spreads to other facilities. In a nearby building, NASA monitors satellites in orbit. Assume a satellite is launched into orbit and crashes into a Russian home due to a NASA fire. The question now is whether the motorist who ran a red light should be held liable for the damages. The defendant driver is, without a doubt, the cause of the Russian place’s injuries. Without his phone, a defendant would not have set off the chain of events that destroyed the Russian home.
However, proximate causation looks at whether the defendant’s violation caused the harm. While it is reasonable to expect to crash into another vehicle or building or even run over someone while distracted driving, is it reasonable to expect a spacecraft to fall from the sky halfway around the world? Again, most people would say no. In this case, the defendant would be liable for the other driver’s car, injuries, light pole damage, and possibly the first home.
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