Limitations of Cause in Fact in Negligence Cases

Cause in fact is one of those tricky areas when dealing with negligence cases. While it's one of the necessary elements to proving negligence, it does have its limitations.

Typically, cause in fact is referred to as but-for causation. In everyday language, this would mean that if it weren't for the actions of the other, the victim's injuries would not exist. For the sake of context, consider a medical scenario in which a doctor's negligence led to a patient's severe infection: but for the surgeon's hasty sutures, the patient's incision would not be infected.

In most negligence cases, cause in fact is helpful in determining the exact cause of the injuries.

There are 2 situations, though, where cause in fact can get confusing, including:
 

  • Concurrent causes - this means that 2 individuals' separate actions of negligence combined to result in injury. While the injury would not have occurred without both actions taking place, both parties are still liable.
  • Sufficient causes - this means 2 individuals' separate actions resulted in damage or injury. In this case, the damage or injury would have occurred anyway from either individual's actions. Even so, both parties are equally responsible for the entire damages.  


An Atlanta personal injury attorney can predict such roadblocks and prepare for them in advance. While you recover from your injuries and adjust back to your daily routine, your Atlanta personal injury attorney can concentrate on any issues that may come up in your negligence case, and cause in fact is no exception.

You can learn more about the elements of negligence by visiting our article library. 

Contacting an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney

If you are the victim of someone else's negligence or carelessness, whether in a traffic accident or some other type of accident, you have certain rights guaranteed by law. To help you understand these rights and seek the compensation you may be eligible for to help get your life back in order, contact the Atlanta Law Offices of Sheryl L. Burke for a no-cost consultation on your injury case.

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