Tort Components: Causation

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:53 by admin
What is Causation?

The fact that a Defendant acted unreasonably, irresponsibly, or carelessly (and therefore breached a duty owed to you) does not mean you will win your lawsuit. To prevail, you must also show that the Defendants behavior caused the injury or property damage. If something or someone other than the Defendant caused the injury or property damage you are suing about, you will not win (however, see vicarious liability and strict liability).

For instance, imagine you have an injury that you think occurred during surgery. You sue the surgeon and your attorney proves that the surgeon indeed had a duty to act as the average responsible surgeon would act in the same situation. Your attorney also proves that your surgeon did not act responsibly, but was instead extremely careless in performing the operation, i.e., you prove that the surgeon breached the duty that he owed to you. However, if your attorney cannot prove that the surgeon
s careless behavior actually caused your condition, you will not win! Why? Because your attorney was not able to prove one of the four necessary elements of negligence. While this surgeon was indeed "bad," you will not win any money if your attorney cannot prove that the surgeon''s "bad" behavior caused your injury. For instance, the surgeon may admit that he was irresponsible, but claim that his irresponsible actions did not cause the injury because the attending nurse also acted irresponsibly and it was her careless action, not his, that caused the injury. In such a case, your attorney should have sued the nurse, not the doctor.

See Also

  1. About Personal InjuryTorts
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