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Understanding causation in negligence cases

Posted on March 3, 2015 2:02 pm under Personal Injury

Causation is critical to establishing whether or not a defendant is responsible for a plaintiff’s injury. To prove that the plaintiff incurred the damages due to the defendant’s failure to act with reasonable care, the court oftentimes examines several elements of proof in many personal injury cases, two of which are cause in fact and proximate cause.

Cause in fact is a question of fact that tells whether or not the defendant’s actions has caused the plaintiff to suffer from damages. A seriously injured pedestrian crossing a crosswalk, for instance, would not have incurred damages if the driver had not been driving over the road’s speed limit.

Proximate cause, on the other hand, is a question of ‘foreseeability,’ meaning, the defendant could not be held liable for damages outside the set of risks that he could have anticipated as the cause of the negligent act. The injured pedestrian tripping and damaging her skull while being rushed to a hospital, for instance, is an unforeseeable consequence of speeding, and thus could not be held against the speeding driver.

If you have been hurt by a negligent party in Wisconsin in any way, a lawyer at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® may look into your situation to see if it qualifies you to file for a personal injury claim. Call us at (414) 271-0900 and have your case assessed today.